Oil and gas development has been occurring in the Peace River area since the late 1950s; however, it was not until 2008 that advances in technology made development of the bitumen in the area economically feasible. Industry activity increased in the area, as did the number of odour complaints from residents.
We rely on Albertans to inform us if something is wrong. Since residents of Peace River came to us with their concerns, we’ve made many changes to our regulations and how we engage with stakeholders in the area.
In April 2014, we accepted all recommendations—within our jurisdiction—made by an independent panel of hearing commissioners following a proceeding to examine odours and emissions from heavy oil operations in the Peace River area.
How We Took Action
Since the proceeding, we have
- increased communication with local residents in the area;
- increased inspections of oil and gas facilities; and
- enforced stringent rules to control gas odours emitted from operations in the area.
Today, our requirements for heavy oil bitumen companies in the Peace River area—listed in Directive 084: Requirements for Hydrocarbon Emission Controls and Gas Conservation in the Peace River Area—are designed to control gas emissions that contribute to offensive odours.
We will take compliance and enforcement action if we find a company is not complying with these rules. Our enforcement actions can include ordering repairs, either immediately or within a specific timeframe, or even shutting down facilities.
Progress and Updates
Our Peace River Performance Dashboard shows our progress in reducing flaring, venting, and incinerating, and increasing gas conservation in the Peace River area.
Reports and Engagement
- Evaluating Stakeholder Engagement (October 2014)
- Peace River Air Monitoring Report (October 2014)
- AGS OFR 2015-07: Investigation of Odours and Emissions from Heavy Oil and Bitumen in the Peace River Oil Sands Area: 3-D Geological Modelling and Petroleum Geochemistry (August 2015)
- Technologies for Minimizing Odours while Loading and Unloading Truck Tanks and Cleaning and Desanding Tanks (November 2015)
- 2016 AER Peace River Survey Executive Summary (February 2016)
- Fact sheet: Peace River Geology Report
For historical information on our work in the Peace River area (i.e., compliance sweeps and status reports), please email Webmaster@aer.ca.