Target: Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board
Goal: Require the Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board to report all environmental hazards to the public
Recently the Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board failed to report to the public what is being called the biggest wastewater spill in North American history. The spill was first noticed by individuals on a plane belonging to Texas-based Apache Corp., the oil and gas company that operates the ruptured pipeline. However, the public was not made aware of the disaster until 11 days after the dangerous spill near Zama City in the Canadian province.
The Apache Corp. notified Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board immediately about the problem, but they waited eleven days before releasing a public statement about the issue. Board representatives claimed that they did not believe it was necessary to notify the public at first due to the high number of spills each year, most of them having no public impact. However, the vast amount of damage was clearly visible; the trees around the site of the spill turned brown, a stark comparison to the green trees surrounding the area.
Canadian news sources report that 2.5 million gallons of industrial wastewater spilled into the area. The spill had a devastating impact on the Dene Tha’ First Nation tribal community who hunt, fish, and live near the site of the spill. Despite the toxins released in their area, the tribe was also not notified of the spill until 11 days after it was discovered.
Require Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board to disclose any and all hazardous spills to the public immediately in order to protect the surrounding communities. Even if they are not yet aware of its impact, the Energy Resources Conservation Board should communicate any happenings to the public.
Dear Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board Members,
The recent wastewater spill near Zama City should have been reported to the public immediately, but your organization waited 11 days after receiving news of the spill before releasing a public statement. In the meantime, the Dene Tha’ First Nation Tribe in particular was at risk of coming into contact with the toxic waste materials. The tribe’s food source was greatly affected by the spill, and they deserved to know of the hazard immediately in order to take necessary safety and survival precautions.
In the future, it is imperative that you notify the public of any and all hazardous spills that occur. I understand that spills are frequent in that area, however it is difficult to know the direct public impact of a spill, so it is necessary to notify the public of any potential hazard in order to ensure public health and safety.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Public Domain Pictures, Pixabay