September 17, 2007

Syncrude ordered to minimize effluent pond emissions

EDMONTON, ALTA-Under an environmental protection order from Alberta Environment, Syncrude Canada has been ordered to minimize hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia emissions from its Mildred Lake effluent pond near Fort McMurray. The order was issued in response to public odour complaints and monitoring from H2S alarms indicating a release to the atmosphere. Syncrude was required to develop an interim action plan by September 4 listing the immediate actions it will take to minimize H2S and ammonia releases from their effluent pond. By October 1, the company must submit a comprehensive plan detailing longer-term measures for reduction or elimination of H2S and ammonia releases. The plan must describe all inputs to and outputs from the effluent pond, including the chemical constituents of the substances, volumes, flow rates, concentrations of substances, temperature and what effect they have or might have on air quality adjacent to the pond as well as areas adjacent to the plant and surrounding area. The order also requires Syncrude to submit monthly written progress reports on the steps taken to comply with the order; these reports are to include any sampling and monitoring data collected in conjunction with the plan.

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