Alberta officials are signalling they have no idea how to clean up toxic oilsands tailings ponds
The toxic waste of the Canadian oilpatch has been quietly spreading in the boreal forest since bitumen mining began near Fort McMurray in Northern Alberta in the 1960s.
The mix of clay, water, toxic acids, metals and leftover bitumen has sprawled in artificial ponds to cover an area twice the size of the city of Vancouver.
“It’s biologically and chemically an impossible fantasy,” said David Schindler, a renowned freshwater scientist and officer of the Order of Canada, when asked about Alberta's plan to clean up oilsands tailings #PriceofOil #oilsands #abpoli #cdnpoli
More than one trillion litres of the goop, called tailings, fill these man-made waste lakes that can be seen from space. An equivalent amount of water would take five days to tumble over Niagara Falls.
The contaminated tailings ponds attract and kill migrating birds. They emit methane and other greenhouse gases.
Despite years of public promises from officials that the tailings ponds would shrink and go away, they are growing. And in the meantime, troubling gaps are opening in the oversight system meant to ensure the oilpatch cleans up its mess. Alberta has collected only $1 billion from companies to help remediate tailings — a problem that is now estimated to cost about 100 times that.
Read the full article here; https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/11/23/news/alberta-officials-are-s...