The Boreal Forest
CALGARY -- The government of the Canadian province of Alberta said Thursday it has laid nine charges against Suncor Energy Inc, alleging the company failed to properly manage storm water runoff at a construction site in northern Alberta’s oil sands in May 2008.
Alberta said in a release that the company did not follow a water-management plan after storm water, a mix of water and dirt from the Voyageur upgrader construction site flowed into the Athabasca River.
Suncor, which could not be immediately reached for comment, is also alleged to have provided misleading information to Alberta’s environment department about the runoff.
The charges will be heard in a Fort McMurray, Alberta, court on Nov. 3. They carry a total maximum fine of $500,000.
CALGARY — Public consultations will begin next month on a sweeping plan for Alberta's oilsands region that could see 20 per cent or more of the landscape set aside for conservation purposes, government officials say.
"There will be a change in the acreage that's under conservation," Sustainable Resource Development Minister Mel Knight said Thursday.
In question is an area the government calls the Lower Athabasca and encompasses the northeastern part of the province, including Fort McMurray, the Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Lac La Biche and Bonnyville.
Knight said he hopes cabinet will approve a legally binding plan for the region early in the new year. The plan is supposed to include details about where development is allowed to occur and what lands are protected.
But there is no doubt major conflicts will flare.... Read more »
Sierra Club Canada joins with No Tar Sands Oil Network on letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on her trip to Canada
Dakelh Territory (Prince George, BC, Canada) – Today, more than 500 people marched through downtown Prince George, BC, in support of First Nations and northern BC residents opposing a tar sands pipeline and tanker port proposed by Enbridge Pipelines Inc.
The proposed pipeline would move up to 525,000 barrels of oil a day from the tar sands in northern Alberta to tanker port in Kitimat, BC. The project would cross unceded territories claimed by over 20 First Nations. It would also cross 785 watercourses, fragment wildlife habitat and impact fragile salmon fisheries. Enbridge has a long history of pipeline spills and other accidents, including a one million gallon spill of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in July—one of the largest spills in U.S. history.... Read more »
Results from a study led by University of Alberta scientists, published Aug. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) (www.pnas.org), show that mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and other metals toxic at trace levels are showing up in the Athabasca River watershed in the area of Alberta's oilsands projects.
This evidence contradicts results from the Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program (RAMP), which studies impacts of the oilsands on the region's watersheds. RAMP consistently reports negligible increases in pollutants compared to natural background levels. Based on this evidence, industry and the Alberta government take the view that pollutants in the region's watershed come from natural sources, not the oilsands developments.... Read more »