Tag Archives: tailings pond

More Ducks Land on Oil Sands Leases – News Sources You Should Follow

Well, the investigations are under way and the information is slowly making it’s way out about landings by waterfowl on multiple oil sands sites.

News sources to follow while this story continues to evolve are:

And while not a link to a news source, here is a link to the Federal Migratory Bird Act (if you were interested).

From a communications perspective, it’s going to be interesting to see how industry, government, non-government and the public react.

From a political/policy/regulations perspective, it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

From my own personal point of view, this sucks.


Did I miss some news sources you think should be on the list? Let me know, post a comment below or grab me on Twitter at @myoilsands

$3 Million in Penalties to Syncrude Over 2008 Waterfowl Incident


Injured Duck on Syncrude Site

oiled duck - photograph by Todd Powell, property of EdmontonJournal.com


So if you’ve been paying attention to oil sands / energy industry / business / environmental news today, you’ll more than likely have heard Syncrude Canada Ltd. has been ordered to pay roughly $3 million in fines due to the Waterfowl incident in 2008 where approximately 1,600 ducks died on a tailings pond.

I’m not going to get into specifics, but you can read more about the fines from Canadian Business and from our own Fort McMurray Today.

Impact on Wildlife needs perspective

I would however like to point you to a post I did in April entitled “[Insert Bird Pun Here]: Oil Sands and Wildlife“. In it, I take a quick look at how two different areas in how they impact wildlife: the buildings we construct, and the vehicles we drive.


Impact Imprint

impact imprint - courtesy of Janet 59


I look at things like how just three buildings in Scarborough, Ontario, have killed over 7,000 birds in 10 years. Three buildings, 82 species, 7,000 birds dead.

How come Greenpeace hasn’t flown European zealots over to Scarborough to scale the buildings, raise a banner, and then get arrested? (A simple answer might be this: money)

Anyway, I just think we need to take a broader look at how we as a species are impacting the world around us. If we talk the talk, then we need to walk the walk and demand accountability from more than just “big oil” – we need to take a look in the mirror and demand it from ourselves as consumers.

Suncor Close to “Significant Breakthroughs” Regarding Environmental Impacts

Suncor logo, property of Suncor Energy Inc.

property of Suncor Energy Inc.

The Edmonton Journal reported on April 30th that Suncor is not only investing more than a billion dollars (yes, that’s $1,000,000,000.00 +) to address environmental impacts, but that CEO Rick George is looking for “constructive dialogue on greening our economy and the energy that fuels it.”

“One of Canada’s top oil and gas companies says it’s on the verge of significant breakthroughs in addressing environmental concerns at its oilsands operations, but is calling for a serious conversation about the country’s energy strategy.” Read the full article @ the Edmonton Journal

Suncor has been working on a new tailings strategy – Tailings Reduction Operations (TRO). All signs point towards this technology playing a large part of Suncor’s plans to “significantly reduce the need for ponds to store mine tailings.” [source]

From Suncor’s Tailings Management section:

“Suncor recognizes the importance of addressing the tailings challenge associated with the development of oil sands mines. Oil sands mines produce tailings — left over material produced during the extraction process that separates bitumen from the oil sand. We have developed a new tailings technology called Tailings Reduction Operations (TRO) that’s a significant advance in tailings management and reclamation. We believe TRO will help us meet provincial regulatory requirements and, just as importantly, the changing expectations of our stakeholders.”

What are your thoughts on the matter?