Manitoba oil field emission concerns lead to health exams : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Mar 17, 23:28 est

Manitoba oil concerns lead to health exams

TILSTON, Man. (CP) - Manitoba Health has agreed to hire a medical specialist to examine people who say emissions from an oil battery are making them sick.

Residents near a battery owned by Tundra Oil and Gas say emissions of hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide are causing everything from nausea and headaches to memory loss and fainting spells.

Dr. Joel Kettner, the province's chief medical officer, said he is hoping an independent expert will be able to trace the source of the ailments.

''This has been an ongoing process,'' Kettner said Friday. ''An opportunity to have some direct meetings with members of the community and reviewing the information we had all added up to a decision to take a fresh look at it.''

Residents in the Tilston area have been fighting with the company for two years to improve emission controls at the battery.

Both the company and Manitoba Conservation have said the emissions are well within provincial guidelines. Testing has shown emissions to be within reasonable limits.

Kettner said he is expecting a full report from the specialist by the end of the summer.

Half a dozen Tilston residents met with Kettner, Conservation Minister Oscar Lathlin and other department officials in Winnipeg earlier this week.

By the end of the meeting Lathlin agreed to order a review of the Oil and Gas Act, which residents say doesn't address the issue of oil field emissions.

Bruce Campbell, who once farmed in the area, said he was encouraged by the developments.

''I'm coming out of there thinking they know we are having problems with oil field emissions, they just can't put a finger on it why,'' Campbell said.

-- Carl Jenkins (, March 18, 2000

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