Investigative Report on Air Pollution in Peace River, Alberta

  • Radio / Television Program

A small community of farmers just north of the town of Peace River, in a locale called three creeks, have been complaining about chemical smells that drift over their properties. Preliminary analysis has detected cancer causing compounds such as Benzene, Tolulene and Xylene. Quantities are small and reportedly within legal limits, but the locals are anxious, and in some cases, getting angry. What we found in Peace River was a prime example of a challenge that communities face all across Canada, particularly in the resource rich western provinces. Industrial development brings jobs, government revenues and shareholder profits. But sometimes there are downsides, and ordinary Canadians find themselves burdened with painful social and environmental costs. This week on Terra Informa, we explore a darker side of resource development. We took our microphones to oil wells, farmers fields and folks' living rooms. We heard from people on both sides of the argument. We didn't discover the mysterious source of the chemical odors, but that wasn't our goal. What we wanted was to document the constant challenge in balancing industrial development, and the economic benefits it brings, with the need to protect our health and our environment.

Duke Faculty Artists/Collaborators

Cited Artists/Collaborators

  • David Kaczan

Creation Date

  • 2010