Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
EnvironmentOilsands6TuesdayFebruary112014Albertadoctorsaskedtotreatoilsands-relatedillnessOpenletteraresponsetoallegedtreatmentrefusalinPeaceRiverByMARIACHURCHAgroupof26organiza-tionsiscallingontheAlbertaMedicalAssociationAMAtoinvestigatewhydoctorsinPeaceRiverrefusedtotreatoilsands-relatedillnessafterevidenceemergedlastmonthdocumentingtreat-mentrefusalwhenhealthproblemswerelinkedtobi-tumenemissions.Environmentalhealthandlandownerrightsorganiza-tionssentanopenlettertotheAMAlastFridayurg-ingtheassociationtodeter-minewhetherphysiciansarereluctanttotreatoil-relatedillnesspotentiallyduetofearsofpoliticalorindustryretribution.TheletterisinresponsetoresearchrequestedbytheAlbertaEnergyRegula-torAERmadepubliclastmonthdocumentingthatphy-siciansinthePeaceRiverarearefusedcareorwouldnotdiagnosepatientswhoprofessedtohavehealthproblemscausedbybitumenemissions.TheresearchwasbasedontestimonyfromresidentsnearBaytexEnergyscoldheavyoilproductionCHOPproj-ectclosetoPeaceRiverwhosaytheywereturnedawayaftersuggestingtheirhealthconcernswereconnectedtotheoilprojectsemissions.DuetotheseriousnessoftheseallegationswebelievetheAMAneedstolookintothismattertoseeifthereisanythingtheAMAcandotofurthersupportphysi-cianssothattheyfeelabletofullyadvocateonbehalfoftheirpatientstheopenletterstates.MikeHudemaofGreen-peaceCanadaoneofthe26organizationsbehindtheopenlettersaidGreenpeacehasbeenmonitoringthesitu-ationinPeaceRiverforsometimebutafterweeksofin-actionfollowingtheAERsreportfeltcompelledtotakeaction.Morethanthreeweeksnowhavegonebysincethatreportwasrsttabledandweheardabsolutelynoth-ingsowereallyfeltsome-thingneedstobedonehetoldTheJournal.HudemasaidAlbertansshouldnotbequestioningwhetherornottheirdoctorisdoingeverythingintheirpowertounderstandtheirill-nessandsuggesttreatmentswithoutfearofrepercussionsfromindustryorgovernment.Insomecasesdoctorstoldresidentstheirbestop-tionwastomovebecausetheywerejustasmallcoginalargemachinehesaid.Tomeitfeelslikedoc-torsintheareaarescaredtomakeanylinktothetarsandsindustryeitherbecauseofloyaltytothatindustryormorepotentiallybecauseoffearofreprisalsfromeitherindustryorthegovernment.HudemasaidtheproblemisnotlimitedtothePeaceRiverareaasGreenpeacehasreceivedotherreportsfromAlbertansclaimingdoctorshaverefusedtoconsiderthelinkbetweenoilsandsemis-sionsandillness.Dr.JohnOConnoraphy-sicianintheFortChipewyanareadrewharshcriticismfromgovernmentandindustryafewyearsagonearlylosinghismedicallicenseafterraisingredagsaboutthepresenceofrarecancersinthecom-munityandthepotentiallinktoupstreamoilsandsindustry.HudemasaidtheAMAneedstoensurephysiciansintheprovincefeelcomfort-ablemakingconnectionstotheoilandgasindustryifthereispotentialforconcern.FreshwaterspillsplagueConocoPhillipsrstweeksExploratoryfrackingdelayedbyaweekafterwatermeltsicepadByMEAGANWOHLBERGMillionsoflitresofspilledfreshwateranaccidentin-volvingawatertruckandadomesticsewagewastewaterspillinJanuaryandFebruaryhavehamperedConocoPhil-lipsrstweeksofexplor-atorydrillingforshaleoilintheSahturegion.Theoilandgascompanycurrentlyconductingthersthorizontalfrackingintheter-ritorythiswinterconrmedthat2700cubicmetresoffreshwaterspilledfromaraisedcontainmentpondatitsdrillsiteonFeb.5.ConocoPhillipsspokes-personLaurenStewartsaidthecompanyisstillinvesti-gatingthecauseofthespill.Whilenoenvironmentaldamageisexpectedshesaidtheincidenthascauseddelaysduetotheicepadhavingbeenmeltedbytheheatedwater.Thiswilldelayourfrac-turingoperationsbyapproxi-matelyoneweekbutwewilltakethetimetodowhatneedstobedonetoensurethesiteissafetoproceedStewartsaidinanemail.Thewastewaterspillfol-lowsanaccidentinvolvingawatertruckonJan.12.Thetrucktippedoveronahillonthewinterroadbetweentheriverandconstructioncamp.ContractorsforCono-coPhillipstoldtheregulatorsinanemailthatthedriverreceivedtwostitchesbutthetruckreceivedminimaldamage.AccordingtoPaulDixonexecutivedirectoroftheSahtuLandandWaterBoardSLWBthetruckspilledasubstantialamountoffreshwaterwithnoexpectedimpacttotheenvironmentbutsaidhehadnotreceivedaspillreportasofyet.DocumentsontheSLWBspublicregistryhighlightedasmallglycolspillinrelationtothetippedtruckwhileanundisclosedquantityoffresh-waterpouredoutofthetophatchofthetruck.Thetruckwhichtippedapproximately150metresfromtheriverwasremovedaccordingtothespillplanandreportssayonly0.25litresofoilwerefoundtohavespilled.Thecontaminatedsnowwasshovelledintoanenviroanddisposedof.ThetruckwasonitssidefortwodayswhilethepropertowingequipmentwasbroughtintoremoveitStewartsaid.ThesamecontractorsalsoreportedtotheSLWBthatasewagespillhadtakenplaceonJan.11andwasnowfrozen.Accordingtothecontrac-tor500litresofdomesticsewagewastewaterfromseveralwellsitetrailersspilledontoa6square-metreareanearthetrailers.AftertherighasbeenmovedoutofthewaythefrozenspilledsewagewillberecoveredanddisposedofintoourenvironmentalwastestoragecontainersforproperdisposalStew-artsaid.Workcontinuesoncon-structionattheP-20wellsitepadandontheMackenzieRivercrossingwhichisnowratedfor32000kg.ThesurfaceportionofthewellatthedrillingrigonleaseE-76hasbeencompletedandthecrewisnowworkingontheintermediatesection.Thereareapproximately55peopleworkingattheconstructioncamp.AwatertruckonitswaytothedrillsitetippedoveronJan.12onthewinterroad.PhotoConocoPhillipsIndustryOilGas