Report Refutes Government and Industry Tarsands Claims

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. (CUP) – A report published in December from the U.S.-based National Academy of Science says that industrial pollution from Alberta’s tarsands operations is five times greater than industry and the government has claimed.

The National Academy of Science report found that the amount of toxic chemicals Syncrude and Suncor deposit into the surrounding environment each year is equivalent to a major oil spill.

The report, co-authored by University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler, contradicts claims from the Alberta government and the oil industry, which assert that the levels of toxic chemicals in the Athabasca River water system and in surrounding soils are a natural occurrence.

It also revealed that known toxic chemicals increase in intensity by 50 times when monitored downstream from oilsands operations. It also says that oil companies are releasing 34,000 tonnes of toxic particulates each year into the nearby environment, which contradicts industry figures that suggest development is responsible for 6,000 tonnes of particulate pollution.

The report is yet another peer-reviewed study challenging the Alberta government’s estimates of pollution and environmental destruction in the region from tarsands projects.

//Keith McLaughlin

The Meliorist

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