Oilsands pollution and the Athabasca River
Ecojustice research has revealed that in Northern Alberta, oilsands operators emit toxins that end up in the Athabasca River, contaminating a waterway that’s home to more than half of the province’s fish species.
Upgrading oil extracted from Alberta’s oilsands is a nasty bit of business.
Huge amounts of energy are required to extract the thick, tarlike substance from the earth and transform it into synthetic crude oil. The burning and combustion associated with upgrading comes at a heavy cost: the release of airborne pollutants, including particulate matter containing toxic polycyclic aromatic compounds. Some of these substances have been found to cause cancer in humans and impact the development and survival of fish.
Ecojustice research has revealed that in Northern Alberta, these pollutants end up in the Athabasca River, contaminating a waterway that’s home to more than half of the province’s fish species.
But that’s just part of the story. Because even though the oilsands are one of the biggest industrial projects on the planet, the federal government doesn’t monitor and report oilsands pollution in an accessible, transparent way. That means we have no way of knowing the cumulative effects oilsands production has on human health and the environment.
That needs to end now. Help us send a message to federal government today.
Tell the federal government that your health is a priority and that polluters must be held accountable for what they put into the air, water and land you depend on.
Tell the federal government to investigate and disclose the full impacts of oilsands pollution today.
- Full report - Oilsands pollution and the Athabasca River
- Letter to Director of Public Prosecutions, Environment Canada
- Media release - Ecojustice research reveals oilsands facilities pollute Athabasca River
- Blog post - Ecojustice research offers troubling glimpse of harm oilsands pollution causes