It’s Official: Alberta’s Oilsands Tailings Ponds Are Leaking. Now What?

“A years-long international investigation has found ‘scientifically valid evidence’ the massive pits that store toxic waste in the oilsands are leaking, leaving Albertans wondering who’s going to clean them up”.

“There are more than a trillion litres of toxic oilsands waste stored in tailings ponds near Alberta’s Athabasca River — and they’re leaking.

Yes, we now have “scientifically valid evidence” that the ponds meant to contain toxic fluids are leaking, according to a years-long probe backed by the governments of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Not only that, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation report noted there is evidence tailings fluids “may circumvent [containment] systems and contaminate aquifers” and end up in the groundwater.

“It really affirmed what my community has been saying for quite a long time,” Melody Lepine, director of government and industry relations for the Mikisew Cree First Nation, told The Narwhal.”

Sharon J. Riley reports for The Narwhal December 14, 2020.