Detection of high heavy metals levels in Athabasca River contradicts government claims.
By Andrew Nikiforuk
|Oil sands processing on Alberta’s Athabasca River|
Despite repeated government claims that the world’s largest energy project doesn’t contaminate the Athabasca River, a new scientific study released today shows that air pollution from the oil sands industry combined with extensive watershed destruction has released a highly toxic brew of heavy metals into northern waterways.
The study, published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), also found that the levels of heavy metals detected from snow runoff or downstream of industrial development exceeded Canadian and Alberta guidelines for protecting fish and aquatic life for seven out of 13 pollutants studied. In some cases metal contamination exceeded guidelines by 30-fold.
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