09/18/2013 01:41 EDT | Updated 11/18/2013 05:12 EST

Peace River Oil Smell Complaints: Scope For Inquiry Set By Regulator

Local Oil, The hunt is on in Manitoba for Oil. This Image was taken close to the Saskatchewan border in Manitoba, north west of the town of Virden.

PEACE RIVER, Alta. - Landowners in Alberta's Peace River region will get a chance to tell the province's energy industry regulator what they want to see in an inquiry into a tar-like smell they say is making them sick.

The Alberta Energy Regulator is to hold a meeting Oct. 7 in Peace River to set the scope for the inquiry into concerns expressed by people in the Three Creeks and Reno areas.

Several companies in the region have cold heavy oil production sites which heat oil in open tanks to separate it from sand.

Residents claim the process creates a gas that escapes into the air and onto their properties, particularly during the night when cooler temperatures create an inversion.

A spokesman for the energy regulator, Bob Curran, says all of the companies have met regulatory standards so he says the inquiry is the next stage to finding a solution.

Curran says the inquiry could make recommendations to government based on its findings.

The date of the inquiry has not yet been determined.

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