Gas co. charged with environmental contamination

Natural gas company SemCAMS ULC has been charged under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act for allegedly leaking waste water and hydrocarbons into a creek near the town of Fox Creek roughly 240 km NW of Edmonton.

A government press release states a "pipeline failure" in August 2010 led to the release of 850000 liters of saline and hydrocarbons into the creek. One km of the creek was contaminated reportedly destroying aquatic life and killing a "substantial" number of fish.

Four charges have been laid under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The company has also been charged by Environment Canada under the federal Fisheries Act.

SemCAMS was also charged in 2009 for failing to maintain air quality monitoring equipment at its Kaybob South Beaverhill Lake sour gas plant in Woodlands County.

Company representatives are scheduled to appear at the Fox Creek Provincial Court on April 23.