Friends of the Richelieu. A river. A passion.

"Tout cedit pays est fort uny, remply de forests, vignes & noyers. Aucuns Chrestiens n'estoient encores parvenus jusques en cedit lieu, que nous, qui eusmes assez de peine à monter le riviere à la rame. " Samuel de Champlain

"All this region is very level and full of forests, vines and butternut trees. No Christian has ever visited this land and we had all the misery of the world trying to paddle the river upstream." Samuel de Champlain

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Les sables bitumineux tuent plus que des canards!

Photo: NRDC
Grâce à la loi à l'accès à l'information, l'écologiste Kevin Timoney a pu examiner les rapports de 3 pétrolières qui exploitent les sables bitumineux en Alberta, rapports qui couvrent une période de 8 ans. Dans ces rapports on trouve les notations des employés qui ont pu observer les animaux morts autour des sites d'exploitation.

Durant cette période de 8 ans, les employés ont rapportés la mort de 164 animaux morts autour des installations de Syncrude, Suncor et Shell Canada: 27 ours noirs, 31 renards, 21 coyotes et des douzaines de chevreuils ainsi que des orignaux, des rats musqués, des castors, des mulots, des martres, des loups et des chauve-souris.

De plus, les ONG Environmental Defense Canada, Natural Resources Defense Council et 3 citoyens ont placé une plainte auprès de l'ALÉNA, se plaignant que le Canada ne fait pas respecter ses lois anti-pollution quand il s'agit des étangs de sédimentation des sables bitumineux. Ils affirment que les déchêts toxiques fuient et contaminent l'eau souterraine avc les résidus d'huile, de métaux lourds et d'autres sous-produits du traitement des sables en Alberta. Ils devraient respecter les lois environnementales selon la loi sur les pêches.

Durant le procès contre Syncrude, un officiel d'Environnement Canada a témoigné en cour que l'excuse donnée par l'avocat de Syncrude pour avoir négligé de déployer les canons pour effrayer la faune, ce qui entraîna la mort de 1,600 sauvagines, était la tempête de neige et la fonte rapide ensuite ayant amolli les murs de rétentions des étangs, empêchant les travailleurs d'installer les effaroucheurs d'oiseaux.
"Waterfowl not only deaths on oilsands: data shows that at least 164 other animals killed over eight years include bears, deer, moose, wolves.

The provincial government is vowing to minimize animal deaths at oilsands operations as documents show a variety of wildlife, including dozens of black bears, deer and red foxes, have been killed. The data, released through a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy request by Edmonton-area ecologist Kevin Timoney, examines three oilpatch giants over an eight-year period. At least 164 animals were killed in the Syncrude, Suncor and Shell Canada's Albian Sands operations, based on information given to Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.

The information doesn't include specific causes of death, though it listed possible reasons, including euthanasia of problem wildlife, drowning or oiling from tailings, vehicle crashes and electrocution.Oilsands giant Syncrude is currently on trial, charged by both the federal and provincial governments with failing to prevent waterfowl from landing on a toxic tailing pond.The documents he obtained show that 27 black bears, 31 foxes, 21 coyotes and dozens of deer were killed, along with moose, muskrats, beavers, voles, martens, wolves and bats. The 164 animals killed are at three oilsands companies, said Mike Hudema of Greenpeace.

Further, the figures are based on the deaths actually observed by workers, who must then forward the information to their company to be reported to the government. "These numbers aren't based on a widespread scientific study or any research done in a methodical way," Hudema said, suggesting the "true death toll is definitely much higher." The "self-policing" system that allows industry to report on itself is flawed, Hudema said."

Excerpts from article written by Jamie Komarnicki from the Calgary Herald here:

"Environmental groups launched a complaint against Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement Wednesday(April 14th, 2010), saying the country has failed to enforce anti-pollution rules governing its vast oil sands.

"In the latest move in a long-running campaign to highlight the impact of oil sands development, the submission by Environmental Defense Canada, Natural Resources Defense Council and three citizens charges that toxic tailings ponds are being allowed to leak and contaminate ground water.

The ponds store residual oil, heavy metals and other byproducts of oil sands processing in the western province of Alberta. They are subject to environmental provisions under the federal Fisheries Act, the groups said."

Excerpts from Reuters article here:

It seems it all started when "bird cannons" could not be deployed in time because of a snowstorm:

"Syncrude's Aurora tailings pond violates a federal law designed to protect migratory birds, an Environment Canada officer told provincial court Tuesday (March 9th) during the oilsands giant's trial for 1,600 waterfowl deaths. Kristopher Dirks said that until this case, no charges have been pursued against Syncrude for the handful of reported waterfowl deaths that occurred on its tailings ponds every year for the past 20 years. He said this was because bird deterrents on the ponds showed the company was taking action to keep the birds away.

That changed, however, after an incident April 28, 2008, that saw hundreds of waterfowl land on the giant toxic tailings pond near Fort McMurray. White (Syncrude lawyer Robert White) has previously said outside court that the aftermath of the snowstorm impeded the company's ability to deploy all of its noise cannons. He said the temperature spike caused the snow to melt, causing the sand on the edges of the tailings pond to become soggy and difficult to navigate, meaning the company could not complete the deployment of its bird deterrents."

Excerpts from article written by Alexandra Zabjek, published here:

1 comment:

  1. Pour lire un excellent reportage d'un journaliste indépendant en langue française des problèmes liés à l'exploitation des sables bitumineux en Alberta, allez vers ce lien: . Merci au commentaire anonyme de ce blog pour ce tuyau!