Alberta family wants talks on farm contaminated by oil and gas industry

An Alberta family whose farmland has been tainted by chemical contamination is asking the province's energy regulator to force the responsible companies to negotiate compensation.

An Alberta family whose farmland has been tainted by chemical contamination is asking the province’s energy regulator to force the responsible companies to negotiate compensation.

The lawyer for the Saken family says if the request is granted, it would be the first time the regulator has compelled a company to sit down with a landowner whose property has been damaged.

The groundwater under the Saken farm near Edson has been poisoned by a chemical leaching from a nearby gas plant.

The plant is now owned by Bonavista Energy, but the leaching began years before the company bought the facility from Suncor (TSX:SU).

The water will be tainted for a generation and the family can neither sell the farm nor borrow money against it.