Pouce Coupe gas leak meeting leads to PRRD changes


Photo: Pouce Coupe Mayor Lyman Clark provides some insight to Wednesday’s public meeting at the Peace River Regional District meeting on Thursday – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

 

By Christine Rumleskie

 
The Peace River Regional District is taking action, following a public meeting held in Pouce Coupe on November’s gas leak.

Pouce Coupe Mayor and PRRD Director, Lyman Clark, says more than 100 community members attended Wednesday’s meeting and voiced their concerns, after a gas leak forced the evacuation of 18 nearby residents in November 2009. Sand had blasted through a pipeline tee, eroding the infrastructure and causing the leak. The report found that the leak could have been prevented, and was in human error.

Clark says Wednesday’s meeting got emotional at times, but the main topics of concern focused on public education, health hazards, and emergency contact information.

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So, the priorities were drafted into recommendations that were submitted to the PRRD. Directors voted unanimously to put forth a recommendation to the Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources and the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission to establish and coordinate a public education protocal.

The PRRD will also request that the Energy Ministry take the lead role in researching and educating local physicians about health hazards around gas exposure.

Finally, the board will explore adding the OGC to the list of 9-1-1 service providers. If accepted, residents could simply call 9-1-1 and be transferred to the OCG.

No one was injured in November’s leak, and EnCana has taken full responsibility for the incident.

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