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NEWS RELEASE · 13th November 2012
Margaret Munro, Postmedia News
Federal scientists have uncovered evidence that contaminants wafting out Alberta’s oilsands operations are collecting on the bottom of remote lakes up to 100 kilometres away.

The chemical “legacy” in the lake sediments indicates that oilsands pollution is travelling further than expected and has been for decades.

“The footprint of the deposition is potentially larger than we might have anticipated,” says Derek Muir, a senior Environment Canada scientist, who will present the findings Wednesday at an international toxicology conference in the U.S. where the oilsands are a hot topic.

A team led by federal scientist Jane Kirk, also of Environment Canada, will report that snow within 50 kilometres of oilsands operations is contaminated with a long list of “priority pollutants” including a neurotoxin that “bioaccumulates” in food webs.

Kirk’s colleague Joanne Parrott will report that melt water from snow collected near oilsand plants is toxic to newly hatched minnows in the lab.

But perhaps the most dramatic findings is that pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, are building up in lake sediments up to 100 kilometres from the oilsands operations.

Their findings have been criticized by oilsands proponents, but the Environment Canada scientists report they have not only “confirmed” the Schindler-Kelly findings but found evidence PAHs can travel even farther.

The Environment Canada work is part of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oilsands Monitoring. The federal and Alberta governments have billed it as a “transparent and accountable” system designed to improve understanding of the long-term cumulative effects of oilsands development.


see story here
Watch for it
Comment by Gary Edwards on 14th November 2012
Watch for it folks. Chairman Harper will either muzzle these guys, fire them,(which would be the same thing) or dismantle the “transparent and accountable” system.
its nice to hear that...
Comment by Amy Scott on 13th November 2012
some people may begin to start taking a bit of responsibility for this kind of thing (up to a hundred kilometers apparently).

Though it goes alot farther than one hundred kilometers. It has been common knowledge forever... that humans are but one thread in the web of life, whatever we do effects the whole web... the entire universe.

I don't think that news article and the federal scientists findings is a big eureka. I suppose the hundred kilometer revelation will bioaccumulate in some minds as well.

I think that sometimes scientists can slow down and obscure our personal revelations when we distrust ourselves and instead wait for scientists to tell us whats what, because they are seen as the ones with the answers, when really their answers should be taken with a grain of salt as their findings are in many instances limited by time, money, and what their apparatuses can measure.

Scientists: "...we see dead bulging eyed fish... okay, ya... lets wait for the money and then we can and get out our measuring mabobs and do a few expoiraments for a few years.... oh, more dead fish... hmmm, okay... ya, ... hmmm, I wonder if... yep... it's prolly the pluronero thingy's, yep... not good... well, whatever.... guess we can all work to build a rocket ship for a few of us to leave earth before it gets too uninhabitable."

Not to knock the paid scientists, they are revealing things, but I think we are all equally capable of doing our own science... validly, and for free.


justice 4 all
Comment by chris from away on 13th November 2012
i suggest moving ottawa perliament to about 30 kms eas ot the tarsands