For Immediate Release
Nov 30, 2011

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Ecojustice comments on Cenovus Weyburn site assessment


CALGARY — Earlier this year, a Saskatchewan family called for a full public investigation of Cenovus’ carbon capture and storage activities near their property after independent research indicated unnaturally high C02 levels in the area’s soil.

Cenovus has since carried out a site assessment of the Kerr family’s Weyburn property, the results of which were made public today. The company has said its assessment shows that CO2 is not leaking from its carbon capture site onto the Kerr property.

Ecojustice, which is advising Cameron and Jane Kerr, is currently reviewing the assessment, while awaiting the results of an independent assessment that are expected in December.

“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,” said Barry Robinson, Ecojustice staff lawyer. “After years of requesting an in-depth investigation on their property, the Kerrs are glad to see that Cenovus has finally conducted an investigation of the potential impacts carbon capture and storage may have on their property.”

IPAC-CO2 Inc., a research organization based at the University of Regina, also conducted an independent investigation of the Kerr property. The results of this investigation will be made available mid-December.

“The Kerrs look forward to seeing the results of the independent investigation to determine the cause of the unusual phenomena they have observed on their property,” Robinson said.

The family first noticed changes to the surface water and well water on their property in 2004, one year after CO2 injections in the area began. Disturbances included bubbling and foaming water, unusual algae growths in ponds and animal carcasses found strewn around the ponds.

In July 2010, the Kerrs retained a Saskatoon-based consulting company to conduct soil gas studies on their property. The tests found unusually high CO2 and methane levels in the soil and prompted the further investigation by Cenovus and IPAC-CO2 Inc.