Leduc County Gas plant changes coming too soon: councilor

A Leduc County councilor is concerned proposed changes to a gas plant located near Calmar are coming too soon...

NEP application map involving a facility near Calmar.

NEP application map involving a facility near Calmar.

A Leduc County councilor is concerned proposed changes to a gas plant located near Calmar are coming too soon, with too little consultation. What’s more, the councilor lives within the gas plant’s radius of consultation.

Division 5 councilor Tanni Doblanko said she and her family received a letter in the mail from NEP Canada ULC regarding “modification to licensed EPZ, NEP Calmar 7-23-49-27W4M gas plant, category D, type 400, file no. NEP-0198,” an application to the provincial government.

Doblanko said the application, a copy of which she supplied to The Pipestone Flyer, includes boosting its “licensed inlet H2S content” from 13.4 mol/kmol to 34 mol/kmol. Additionally, the amount of acid gas is listed as being increased from 13.45 mol/kmol to 560 mol/kmol.

Doblanko said she feels using kilomole measurements makes the application seem smaller. For example, converting mol/kmol to parts per million means the H2S is being boosted from 13,400 to 34,000 ppm. Exposure to 200 ppm is potentially deadly.

The letter, which is dated Nov. 26, 2016, states no on-site equipment will be modified or added as a part of these regulatory changes. Doblanko noted she also received a hand-delivered letter.

The package contained a map of the facility in question; Doblanko noted her family’s home is within the 1.87 km radius around the facility that requires notification to those residing inside.

Under the heading “Proposed project scheduling and direction of construction,” “Licensing is expected to proceed in December, 2016.”

Doblanko said she feels this public notice timeline over a few weeks, especially as the mailed notice was only dated Nov. 26, 2016, was too short. “I’m concerned there wasn’t much transparency,’” said Doblanko in an interview Nov. 26.

Anyone living near the plant can’t be blamed for any concerns they have. H2S, or hydrogen sulfide, is described as both toxic, deadly at levels as low as 200 ppm, and flammable. The county councilor said she’s also concerned about maintenance of the plant and lines connected to this gas. “Who’s checking the corrosion/integrity of the downhole acid gas disposal well pipe?” she asked.

The Pipestone Flyer left a message Dec. 1 at NEP’s Calgary head office, requesting comment on the application. No response was received by the noon deadline Monday, Dec. 5.