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Imperial’s response to recent Sarnia media coverage

Recently there has been media coverage about the environmental performance of the oil and gas industry, including Imperial, in the Sarnia region.

We understand that this coverage will generate a lot of discussion in Sarnia, in Ontario and even across Canada. These are important conversations, and we want to be a part of them.

We’ve been in Sarnia for 120 years and in southern Ontario even longer. Our operations have evolved drastically over that time – the industry has changed, technology has changed and the people have changed. What hasn’t and won’t change is our commitment to being a safe, responsible and trusted neighbour.

That being said, we know we have more work to do. When it comes to safety and the environment, anything more than zero is unacceptable. We take all regulatory violations very seriously. Our team is focused on improving environmental performance at our refining and manufacturing sites, including preventing spills, reducing water consumption, and ensuring water returned to the environment meets high standards. Included below are some of their accomplishments from the past few years:

  • We have achieved a 60 percent reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions at our Sarnia site.
  • Since 1994, we have achieved an 88 percent reduction in benzene emissions.
  • In the last five years, we have spent approximately $1.1 billion at Nanticoke and Sarnia to improve the reliability and safety of our operations.
  • Imperial has also invested in systems to protect the St. Clair River.

While we believe an open and transparent dialogue around the industry’s environmental performance is important, it’s inaccurate to suggest that Imperial isn’t concerned about our impact on the environment. We want to take the opportunity to address some items in the Global piece:

  • Lack of community notification We agree with those featured in the recent media coverage that notification is important. During incidents, we issue statements to media, communicate directly with officials and update industry information telephone lines. In 2017, we also launched a Sarnia Facebook page where community members can get the latest information on our operations.
  • Regional health study We take health very seriously. We have a duty of care to the 1,000 people who work here and to the community. In the past, we have funded internal health studies, supported external research efforts and we continue to fully support additional study in this space.

Community respect and confidence are very important to us – and we know we have to work hard to build trust with community members. To that end, let’s keep talking. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Community Affairs office ((519) 339-4015) or reach out on Facebook