Federal and Alberta governments to study oilsands tailings leak communication

EDMONTON — The Alberta and federal governments say they will work together to understand what happened around public notifications of toxic seepage at an oilsands tailings pond.

Alberta environment minister Sonya Savage and her federal counterpart Steven Guilbeault discussed on Tuesday night the seepage and leak from the Kearl oilsands mine.

The seepage was discovered in May, but neither politician was told about it until nine months later.

Area First Nations were also not updated after initial notification of discoloured water being found on the site, about 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alta. 

Savage says in a news release that her department has sent officials to the site to conduct independent water sampling, in addition to monitoring already in place. 

She says Alberta has not seen evidence of waterway or drinking water contamination.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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