An oil refinery in northern Alberta that started processing oil 22 years ago is facing an enforcement order for operating without regulatory approval.


The Enerchem plant was never granted approval under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA), according to the order issued June 20.

The order states that no approval “has been issued to any person for the construction, operation and reclamation of the plant,” in contravention of the act.

Under the conditions set out in the order, the oil fractionation plant, 250 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, can continue operating while the owner, Calgary-based AltaGas, seeks approval from the province.

Experts in environmental law say the infraction is troubling evidence of cracks in Alberta’s complex regulatory system and undermines its approvals process.

Last Updated on August 5, 2023