Posted on December 12, 2011 (updated: December 12, 2011)

Long-awaited investigation into CO2 impacts a ‘win for all Canadians’

REGINA — Earlier this year, Cameron and Jane Kerr — represented by Ecojustice — called for a full public investigation of Cenovus Energy’s carbon capture and storage activities after independent research indicated unnaturally high CO2 levels on the Kerrs’ property.

Today, IPAC-CO2 Inc., a research organization based at the University of Regina, released the results of its independent investigation of the property. IPAC-CO2 concluded that there was no evidence that the CO2 observed on the Kerr property came from Cenovus’ carbon capture and storage project.

“Without a full scale of investigation, it has been impossible until now to rule out CO2 contamination as the cause of the Kerrs’ concerns,” said Barry Robinson, Ecojustice staff lawyer.

“It took widespread media scrutiny to trigger these investigations, but the fact they took place at all is a win for all Canadians. Government and industry must be open and transparent in addressing the concerns of citizens affected by their actions.”

Robinson indicated that Ecojustice and the Kerrs will review the IPAC-CO2 results in detail before providing further comment.

Earlier this month, Cenovus announced that their own assessment of the Kerr property showed that CO2 is not leaking from its carbon capture site.

The Kerrs first noticed changes to the surface and well water on their property in 2004, one year after Cenovus began injecting CO2 into the ground nearby. Disturbances included bubbling and foaming water, unusual algae growths in ponds and animal carcasses found around the ponds.

The Kerrs repeatedly raised these concerns with Cenovus and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources over a span of six years. Both entities failed to address those concerns or carry out an in-depth investigation until Ecojustice helped raise awareness about the problem, which garnered international attention.

“The reality is that Cenovus Energy and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources failed to properly investigate the Kerrs’ concerns during the last six years,” Robinson said.

“The Kerrs appreciate IPAC-CO2’s efforts, although there are still many unanswered questions about what caused the disturbances observed on their land.”


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