Imperial Oil Sarnia (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Imperial Fined Over $800K For Coker Gas Release

Imperial Oil has been fined over $800,000 for a release of coker gas from its Sarnia refinery nearly three years ago.

The company pleaded guilty Tuesday in provincial offences court in Sarnia to one count under the Environmental Protection Act.

On June 11, 2015, about 750 kg of coker gas and up to 1,500 litres of coker gas condensate were released into the air from the refinery’s coker unit over about three minutes.

Three contractors working in the area experienced burning eyes and difficulty breathing, and vehicles and structures in the area impacted by condensate droplets had to be cleaned at Imperial’s expense.

The company was fined $650,000, and an automatic surcharge was applied increasing the total penalty to $812,000.

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change says as a result of the incident, Imperial reviewed and modified its preventative maintenance procedures to prevent a similar occurrence.

In 2016 the company was also fined $650,000 for a release of coker gas in 2014.

Coker gas is a complex combination of hydrocarbons.