Bow Island family struggles with Alberta Government to get help with leaking gas

By Brittney Matejka - CHAT News
February 12, 2018 - 10:32am

BOW ISLAND - The Timmons family was given some startling news in October.

Chantel Timmons was told methane gas had been detected leaking into their home, just outside of Bow Island, from an unknown abandoned water well. It is buried just two and a half metres from their door.

“We were told if somebody were to take a lighter, they would of been able to light the gas in the garage because it was such a high concentration,” she said.

Timmons said they built their dream home 5 years ago on her family’s farm and had no idea there was water well 18 inches below her driveway.

“Nobody really knew what we should do,” she said. “Everybody just scratched their head wondering how it had been here and no body knew.”

The undocumented water well was unknown to anyone. The land has been in Timmon’s family since the early 1970s. She has acquired the land titles dating back to 1912 on the property and the water well appears to be unregistered.

“It’s frustrating and scary to know it’s there,” she said.

She reached out for help in writing from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), the Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Philips and the Minister of Energy, Margaret McCuaig-Boyd on December 9th, 2016.

No one has responded to Timmons correspondence.

CHAT News reached out to the AER, spokeperson Cara Tobin said the Timmons case isn't in their jurisdiction. 

"Water wells are not regulated by the AER, we are not the regulatory body she (Chantel Timmons) would have to speak to," she said. 

Drew Barnes, MLA for Cypress - Medicine Hat said he has been advocating for the family, by writing letter and requesting a meeting with the Minister of Energy, Margaret McCuaig-Boyd. He wants someone to take responsibility.

“It seems clear cut to me that it is the Alberta Government and the Orphaned Well Fund because of the natural gas,” he said.

Timmons has taken her plea for help to social media. Tweeting out for help from the Alberta government. She said she won’t give up her fight to help protect her family and their home.

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