“Deeply Concerned”: Environment Minister Takes Action After Imperial’s Kearl Leak

oil sands mine

On Friday, Canada’s environment minister expressed that he was “deeply concerned” about the continuous hazardous tailings water leaks from Imperial Oil’s Kearl oil sands mine in Alberta.

His comments were made one day after the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, located near the Kearl site, accused Imperial and the Alberta Energy Regulator of failing to offer them protection.

Industrial wastewater filled with poisonous substances like arsenic and iron has been leaking from the 240,000 barrel-per-day Kearl oil sands site since May of 2022.

In February, Imperial revealed another spill of over 5,000 cubic metres of tailings water from one of its containment ponds, which caused the AER to issue a directive for an environmental protection order.

Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation declared they were unaware of the spills until after they occurred last month.

“We need to see a clear remediation plan from the company and to better understand the apparent failures of communication for the notification of this spill,” said Guilbeault, adding that the health and safety of the affected Indigenous communities was his primary concern.

Guilbeault affirmed that federal regulators will undertake an individual evaluation to decide the next measures under Canada’s Fisheries Act.

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has urged people to not consume any meat taken from the area below the Kearl site after the month of May 2022.

Chief Adam has raised concern that Imperial may lack the protocols and infrastructure required to contain its residues and has requested a thorough investigation.

“This does not appear to be a simple accident, but a systemic failure of Imperial’s tailing ponds,” said Adam in a statement. “Both Imperial and the AER failed to give notice or take action to keep the public and Indigenous communities safe.”

What do you think?

26 Points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Olivia Woods

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings


Enbridge CEO: Oil and Gas Industry Growing Despite Renewable Energy Investments

offshore oil and gas

Suncor Sells its Offshore Operations in the North Sea For $1.2 billion