Left out of the loop

Residents near a sour gas pipeline under construction are concerned that they knew nothing of the project.

Residents near a sour gas pipeline under construction are concerned that they knew nothing of the project.

“I guess our biggest concern was being left out of the loop,” said Tony Stutter, who lives with his wife Lois less than a kilometre from the Keyera pipeline in Leedale, about 20 km southwest of Rimbey. “Nobody’s ever been here to discuss that with us.”

The first notice they had that a pipeline was going in was when crews began digging several weeks ago.

“As we watched it being built, we were somewhat curious.”

It was not until Bill Kinley, of the landowner group UPTAG, spoke to them that they realized it would be carrying hydrogen sulphide, a potentially lethal gas.

Stutter believes residents of the little hamlet of Leedale, 20 km southwest of Rimbey, should have been better informed.

Kinley said residents have a right to be concerned. A rupture in the pipeline, given the prevailing northwesterly winds, could be devastating for Rimbey and area, he said.

He questions the effectiveness of the company’s notification process when residents he spoke to were unaware that the pipeline could carry sour gas.

“I don’t think the majority of the people are aware of it,” said Kinley, adding it was news to the Leedale Hutterite Colony. The colony declined to comment.

Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board says at concentrations over 750 parts per million, sour gas can cause death within minutes.

Calgary-based Keyera says it posted ads notifying the public of the proposed pipeline and the fact it would transport natural gas with up to 1,000 parts per million of hydrogen sulphide in newspapers in Rimbey, Ponoka and Edmonton in September 2010. The project was officially announced to the media last December and in January, a presentation on the pipeline was given to the Medicine River Watershed Society’s open house in Leslieville.

The 45-km, 30-cm pipeline will run from the Leedale area to the Rimbey gas plant to the east. It will carry natural gas liquids, including ethane, butane, propane and condensate. The pipeline is licensed to carry up to 0.1 per cent of sour gas.

Additional public notifications on Keyera’s Rimbey gas gathering system emergency response plan with contact information appeared in Rimbey and Eckville newspapers in February.

Residents were notified as required by the Energy Resources Conservation Board. “As required by the ERCB Directive 56, these stakeholders consented to the pipeline through the formal non-objection process,” says a statement from Keyera spokeswoman Sarha Wilson.

All residences within the 200-metre emergency plan area and local authorities were also contacted.

“All Keyera facilities have a long history of safe, reliable and environmentally responsible operations,” says Wilson. The company will discuss its plans with any of those interested in the project.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches a speaker appear by videoconference during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, April 9, 2021. Grassroots Liberals have overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling on the federal government to develop and implement a universal basic income — despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the idea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau winds up Liberal convention with election campaign-style speech

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau wound up a three-day Liberal convention Saturday with… Continue reading

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Italy at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Men’s world curling championship in Calgary in COVID limbo

CALGARY — The men’s world curling championship in Calgary remained suspended Saturday… Continue reading

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Non-profit Quebec law centre to aid environmental group targeted by Alberta oil firm

QUEBEC — The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives cite empathy, relationships as ways to help expand their movement

OTTAWA — Conservatives should show empathy with Black residents who say they’ve… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. New Democrats are reconvening for the second day of a three-day policy convention as they look to push past the glitches of the virtual event's opening sessions and rally around keynote speaker John Horgan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats reconvene as hiccups, frustrations plague national policy convention

OTTAWA — New Democrats reconvened Saturday for the second day of a… Continue reading

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his commitment to the Republican Party — and raise the possibility that someone else will be the GOP's next presidential nominee — in a closed-door speech to donors Saturday night, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Trump in 2024? He says only that ‘a Republican’ will win

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his… Continue reading

A cruise ship sits docked waiting for passengers to be evacuated in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Friday, April 9, 2021 due to the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Ash-covered St. Vincent braces for more volcanic eruptions

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — People who ignored an initial warning to evacuate… Continue reading

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Most Read