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The lie of a cleaner oilsands

In May 2022 a tailings pond at Imperial’s Kearl Lake facility started leaking toxic waste into groundwater and outside its lease boundaries. But no one reported the leak to water users living downstream of the massive oilsands project for nine months.

In a nutshell:

Award-winning journalist, Andrew Nikiforuk, writing for The Tyee, lays out a damning, but all-too-familiar chronology of ongoing hydrocarbon spills in the Alberta Oil patch that go unreported and unregulated by a seemingly complicit Alberta Energy Regulator. Indigenous leaders, their food sources and drinking water contaminated, have expressed total distrust with the state of monitoring and reporting, repeatedly castigating the Alberta Energy Regulator as a “joke” or unaccountable.

Key quote:

“All trust with the Alberta government has been broken and has been broken for a long time. They can’t be trusted to oversee the mess,” Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Big picture:

At one time the Alberta government and industry promised to control the proliferation of the mining waste stream with stiff regulations. But industry ignored 2009 rules to reduce the volume of tailing waste and then regulators abandoned them. Now government and industry propose to rid themselves of the tailings waste problem with the cheapest possible solution — by minimally treating wastewater by filtering it through petroleum coke (a bitumen byproduct) with the goal of releasing that water into the Athabasca River.

Read the full story from The Tyee.

lie of a cleaner oilsands
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The lie of a cleaner oilsands

Pollution protections are stripped while Canada boasts progress. This is the history of promises made and betrayed.
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EPA tightens mercury emissions limits at coal power plants

The EPA is tightening rules that limit emissions of mercury and other harmful pollutants from coal-fired power plants. The proposal would lower emissions of toxic pollutants that can harm brain development of young children and contribute to health problems in adults.

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E.P.A. to tighten limits on mercury and other pollutants from power plants

A new rule would reduce mercury, arsenic, nickel and lead emissions, which the Biden administration said would protect public health.
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EPA proposes new rules for toxic pollutants discharged from coal-fired power plants

The EPA has proposed new and stricter limits on toxic contaminants that utilities can discharge from their coal-fired power plants and coal ash landfills — but it’s still unclear how the rules would affect Duke Energy’s facilities in North Carolina.

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