As I have mentioned in previous blogs, the Oil and Gas industry is responsible for a significant amount of the hydrogen sulfide (“H2S”) gas released into residential communities throughout the United States. The rotten egg odors and physical symptoms associated with hydrogen sulfide exposure is not limited to the United States. In Canada, specifically in the communities in and around the northern Alberta oil sands, citizens have been continually exposed to hydrogen sulfide above the odour thresholds and one hour objective standards.
For example, back in 2006, the Mildred Lake plant located about 40 kilometers (approximately 25 miles) north of Ft. McCMurray was shut down because of the hydrogen sulfide concentrations which inundated the surrounding areas including Fort McKay were so strong. In addition to the foul odors people were reporting eye and skin irritations.
According to the Alberta Government, Mildred Lake has since continued to exceed H2S objectives. In 2007 Mildred Lake exceeded the 1 hour H2S 10ppb objective almost 180 times and exceeded the 24 hour 3ppb objective over 40 times.
The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association reported on October 26, 2009, 10:00 MST, that the Mildred Lake Air Monitoring Station had an hourly H2S average of 24.3 ppb. As recent as August 2009, the Mildred Lake monitoring station recorded an average H2S concentration of 6ppb with a maximum of 100 ppb.