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Archive for May 2nd, 2008

500 Bird Deaths Tip of the Ice Berg

Posted by mhudema on May 2, 2008

Groups warn of more bird deaths in oilsands ponds TheStar.com – Canada – Groups warn of more bird deaths in oilsands ponds

May 02, 2008

THE CANADIAN PRESS

EDMONTON–The 500 ducks that died this week in a toxic wastewater pond represent only a fraction of the number of birds that die every year in Alberta’s oilsands region, experts say.

And they warn the number of bird deaths will jump dramatically as more heavy oil plants are built unless governments bring in tougher environmental rules, including how to deal with billions of litres of poisonous sludge the plants produce.

“The tailings ponds are old technology. They have to come up with a better tailings system,” said Ruth Kleinbub, a director of the Federation of Alberta Naturalists who lives in Fort McMurray.

“Don’t start building these plants until they have something better in place.”

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Bird Tragedy

Posted by mhudema on May 2, 2008

PM wades into dead duck controversy

Harper says tailings pond tragedy hurts image, First Nations chief wants inquiry

By KEVIN CRUSH


A female Mallard duck is gets it’s bill cleaned of oil at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton on Wednesday April 30, 2008 after being transported from the Syncrude tailings pond at their tar sands site near Fort McMurray, Alta. (Jordan Verlage/SUN MEDIA)

A third duck rescued from a Syncrude tailings pond has died.

That leaves just two surviving ducks of the roughly 500 that died earlier this week when they landed in the toxic pond north of Fort McMurray.

And one of the two remaining survivors is in poor condition and may not have long to live.

“The one does (have a chance). The other one, we’re not holding out much hope for, unfortunately,” said Kim Blomme, founder of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton.

Five ducks were initially recovered from the pond. Three later died, including one on Wednesday night, said Blomme.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was in Edmonton yesterday for the official opening of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, said the tragedy hurts Canada’s environmental image.

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