Environmental Protection Order issued for Sears Plume welcome news

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann says an Environmental Protection Order (EPO) issued today for the Sears Hydrocarbon Plume is extremely welcome news for his constituents.

“This is the culmination of decades of advocacy by the people of Calgary – Mountain View who raised concerns about the need for remediation of this site,” says Swann. “This is extremely welcome news. I am very pleased and applaud the government for taking this action.”

Last year, Swann repeatedly corresponded with the Minister of Environment about the need for remediation of the former Sears gas station at North Hill Centre in the Calgary – Mountain View community of Hounsfield Heights, as well as the responsibility for ongoing remediation given the bankruptcy of Sears Canada.

The Minister initially downplayed the risks to human health and public safety, but later saidher government’s environmental law group was having discussions about the impact of the bankruptcy.

Swann was worried the responsibility for remediating the Sears Hydrocarbon Plume would go the same route as orphaned oil and gas wells, but says the EPO makes it clear that the new owners will be fully liable for the ongoing monitoring and clean-up of these sites.

“This sends a strong statement that ownership cannot simply walk away from their environmental responsibilities,” says Swann. “It is a message that is very much needed right now.”