Suncor fined $100K after hydrogen sulphide released at Edmonton Oil Refinery

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Suncor is facing a $100,000 fine after pleading guilty to an environmental offence when hydrogen sulphide was released at an Edmonton facility in 2018.

It was admitted that on July 18, 2018, at the Edmonton Oil Refinery, a valve in the coker unit during the steam drying phase was not properly closed, resulting in the release of hydrogen sulphide gas.

According to an agreed statement of facts, it could not be determined how much of the hydrogen sulphide — a poisonous gas that smells like rotten eggs — was released, but it lasted approximately four minutes.

There were 22 workers near the coker unit at the time of the release, all of whom were treated onsite by medical staff at the refinery. Five were sent to hospital and released later that day.

A provincial court has penalized the company with $100,000 for breaching a condition of approval requiring no unauthorized air effluent streams be released to the atmosphere, contrary to the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

A majority of the penalty will go towards a creative sentencing project with the Strathcona Community Hospital Foundation for the purchase of long-lasting respiratory support equipment.

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