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Edmonton residents concerned about gas odour from Imperial Oil refinery

Click to play video: 'Refinery gas smell wafts over east Edmonton' Refinery gas smell wafts over east Edmonton
Imperial Oil says a leaking valve on top of a storage tank off 34 Street is to blame for a gasoline odour that had residents in east Edmonton calling 911 on Monday. Sarah Ryan has the details. – Apr 19, 2022

A gas leak along Refinery Row near Edmonton caused quite a stink on social media Monday night.

Edmonton Fire Rescue tweeted that there was a gas leak at the Imperial Oil tank farm just east of Edmonton in Strathcona County, causing a rotten egg smell.

“The leak does not pose any risk to the public,” the tweet read. “However, the rotten egg smell may be noticeable in Edmonton up to a week or more.”

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Around 9 p.m., residents in east Edmonton took to social media, posting about the stench, with some describing it as more of a natural gas smell.

Residents reported the smell in neighborhoods like Strathearn, Forest Heights and Ottewell — all west of the refineries along Baseline Road.

On the Strathcona Industrial Update Line, a message was posted by Imperial Oil around 6 p.m. saying “the refinery has identified that a product odour may be detectable near the refinery.”

“It went on to say, “Steps are currently underway to confirm and remediate the source.”

READ MORE: Gas leak and explosion forces residents out of central Edmonton apartment building

Keri Scobie, Imperial Oil’s public and government affairs manager, said they were notified of the smell by an industrial neighbour around 3 p.m. Monday.

“A little bit of product leaked actually onto the roof and was evaporating, that’s where the odour was discovered downwind,” said Scobie.

Imperial Oil’s South Tank Farm on 34 street south of Baseline Road had a leak on top of one of the storage tanks. Sarah Ryan / Global News

The tank farm between Edmonton and Sherwood Park is where the company stores products from the Strathcona Refinery before they are shipped out. This was a gasoline blending product.

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“The team is working on the repair right now, cleaning the product up. Most of it has already evaporated. We’ve got our work plan in place — we’re hoping that’s a short duration — over the next couple of days,” Scobie added.

Imperial has been doing environmental monitoring four times a day since being notified of the leak, both at the tank farm and the communities west of it.

“All indications so far is that nothing is really going beyond the fence line, other than the odour, and at a level that there are no safety or health concerns for the community,” added Scobie.

She said these kinds of leaks are rare.

Global News has reached out to the Alberta Energy Regulator, but has not yet heard back.

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