STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Tar Sands Threaten Groundwater

Posted by mhudema on July 28, 2008

Oilsands threaten groundwater
Conservation specialist warns steam blowout could contaminate massive Athabasca aquifer near Fort McMurray
Jennifer Yang
The Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON – Oilsands development could be putting one of Canada’s largest groundwater systems in peril, the Alberta Wilderness Association warned Saturday.

Many of the region’s oilsands projects sit directly below what’s believed to be the largest aquifer in the North American Plains region.

This immense system of underground water channels, which includes parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, is an invaluable source of Canadian freshwater that feeds into several important waterways such as the Athabasca River.

Critics are particularly worried about oil projects taking place over aquifers that use an oil extraction method called Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, or SAGD, commonly used in an area between Fort McMurray and Lac La Biche.

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