Syncrude not alone in tailings pond waterfowl landings

By staff

Fort McMurray – A few days after being ordered to pay a $3 million fine for the death of waterfowl in its tailings pond, Syncrude Canada once again has waterfowl in its tailings pond.

The Alberta government reported Tuesday that a number of waterfowl had landed on a tailings pond north of Fort McMurray at Syncrude Canada’s Mildred Lake Settling Basin Monday night.

“I cannot express how disappointed and frustrated I am that this incident occurred,” said Rob Renner, Alberta Minister of Environment in a release Tuesday. “Albertans deserve answers to why this happened again, and we will do everything we can to get those answers quickly.”

Government of Alberta staff were on site Tuesday to ensure deterrents were in place to prevent further birds from landing and to investigate why the landings occurred.

However, it was announced Tuesday afternoon that Suncor and Shell also had waterfowl landings at some of their tailings ponds, prompting Alberta Environment Staff to work with the three companies to determine the number of landings and the impact those landings had on the waterfowl.

Alberta requires of all oil sands mining operating approvals that companies have a comprehensive bird deterrent system in place for their tailings ponds.

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  1. This is unfortunate; however, people only choose to pursue the oil industry because of the deep pockets. How many thousands of birds are killed each year by wind turbines and high rise buildings. Nobody ever talks about that, ever. Get some facts straight.

  2. This is second hand information, but I was told that freezing rain was causing waterfowl to fall from the sky everywhere at that time. One motorist told me that he saw 8 ducks fall from the sky onto the highway as he was driving in the Conklin area. I am anxious to see where this story goes.

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