Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Bad odour prompts EnCana to extend smokestack height

Residents’ complaints about a bad smell emanating from a natural gas processing plant near Dawson Creek have prompted EnCana Corp. to undertake an upgrade of the plant’s waste gas system.
Photograph by: Canwest News Service, Canwest News Service
Residents’ complaints about a bad smell emanating from a natural gas processing plant near Dawson Creek have prompted EnCana Corp. to undertake an upgrade of the plant’s waste gas system.

Residents of the Tomslake community located 10 kilometres from the Steeprock processing plant have complained for more than a year about an unpleasant odour comparable to rotten eggs in the local airshed as a result of plant operations.

EnCana media relations adviser Carol Howes said the plant met all engineering and design criteria when it came into commission in 2006.

But the Calgary-based company has decided to seek bids on a contract to extend the height of the plant smokestack from which small amounts of sulphur dioxide (SO2) are released as a byproduct of gas processing. The upgraded smokestack will have an elevation of 70 metres, which EnCana hopes will be sufficient to prevent the odour from settling back onto the ground.

“We started the process last summer,” Howes said. “The issue was raised with some concerns from a couple of the folks and we decided to take a look at it. We put in some air monitors, and looked at the design of the smokestack and how we could improve it to alleviate that.

“Normally in the incineration process, this SO2 would disperse into the air, but the plume is not going quite high enough for it to disperse,” Howes said. “It’s a very, very small concentration and it’s within all the regulatory standards. It’s just low enough in that little area that you can smell it.”

Popular Posts