STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘tailings pond’

Tar Sands a Toxic Future

Posted by mhudema on July 8, 2008

Youth do an oilsands reality check, and come away with negative impressions

By CAROL CHRISTIAN
Today staff
Friday July 04, 2008

Some kind of civil disobedience from First Nation youth fed up with living with the fall-out of oilsands development of could be coming in the not-too-distant future.
That prediction was made Thursday during a meeting with First Nations representatives and young adults attending the National Youth Summit in Edmonton. Some 100 youth from across the country are expected to attend the weekend conference. Eight of the youth visited Wood Buffalo Thursday during a tour organized by Greenpeace Canada.
Most of those attending the meeting came to see the oilsands first hand, to see if the negative portrayals in the media were true. They left with the impression those negative reports were accurate.

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Oilsands penalties dwarfed by library fines

Posted by mhudema on July 2, 2008

Mike De Souza
Canwest News Service

As a provincial regulator moves ahead with new enforcement tools to crack down on waste from Alberta’s oilsands sector, new statistics have revealed that a majority of projects faced no fines or prosecution in recent years under environmental protection legislation.

The data, compiled through an analysis of quarterly provincial reports and decisions made by the federal and provincial governments, revealed that only one company was fined under environmental protection legislation in 2006 and 2007.

Meanwhile, the federal government did not lay a single charge under the Fisheries Act against any oilsands company operating between 1988 and 2005.

“This is an industry that’s spewing 1.8 billion litres of toxic waste in tailings ponds every day, so looking at this and realizing the scale of it, it was really quite alarming,” said Gillian McEachern, a senior campaigner at ForestEthics, an environmental group that conducted the analysis.

“It really points to the need for better federal oversight over what’s happening, stronger regulations and good monitoring and enforcement of those regulations.”

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Dead loon found days after duck disaster

Posted by mhudema on May 6, 2008

By KATIE SCHNEIDER, SUN MEDIA

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Greenpeace officials are again crying foul after a loon was found dead and two others in distress at the ConocoPhillips tar sands site, the second wildlife incident in the oilsands in a week.

Mike Hudema, a Greenpeace tar sands campaigner, said it causes him concern an anonymous tip received Saturday afternoon comes about a week after 500 ducks were found dead on a tailings pond at the Syncrude oilsands site.

“It’s definitely a concern for us … the fact that the death of birds and wildlife in some of these sites is not a one-time occurrence,” he said, adding the incident was reported to Greenpeace by a tipster.

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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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Hundreds of ducks dead or dying after landing on tailings pond

Posted by mhudema on April 30, 2008

Breaking News

Updated: April 30, 2008 at 08:11 AM CDT

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Hundreds of migrating ducks are dead or dying after landing on a tailings pond owned by Syncrude Canada Ltd. and ice surrounding the small lake full of toxic sludge is hampering rescue efforts.
More National Breaking News

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach was visibly angry Tuesday as he questioned why noise-making canons were not deployed to scare the waterfowl away from the pond filled with oilsands wastes.

“The problem here is that there’s ice around the pond and you can’t just push a boat in (to rescue some of the birds),” said the premier. “The company will have to lower the boats by crane into the water.”

Company and government officials estimate there are roughly 500 birds trapped in the toxic pond in a disaster that has never before been witnessed in the northern Alberta oilsands region.

“Many of them will die as a result of this incident,” said Syncrude spokesman Alain Moore. The birds landed on the pond Monday.

Moore said the company is working with Alberta Fish and Wildlife in hopes of rescuing some of the birds.

“Our CEO is taking a personal commitment to lead this investigation team because it’s definitely a top priority at Syncrude,” he said.

But Environment Minister Rob Renner told The Canadian Press late Tuesday that it’s now looking doubtful that any of the birds can be saved.

Renner explained that the surviving birds are diving under the toxic water when approached, making recovery nearly impossible.

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