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Regulator, industry find oil sands cleanup harder than first thought

Alberta's energy regulator finds no oilsands companies affected by tailings reduction rules have met targets.


June 12, 2013
by The Canadian Press

EDMONTON – Alberta’s energy industry is finding that cleaning up oil sands tailings is going to be harder than first thought.

The province’s energy regulator has found that none of the oilsands companies affected by tailings reduction rules has met targets.

The reasons range from problems with new and untested technologies to increases in production to poor planning for Alberta’s weather.

Companies have been given more time to capture at least half of the fine particles the mines produce and turn them into surfaces that are solid enough to drive on.

An Energy Resources and Conservation Board spokesman says no action has been taken against companies because they are working hard to find solutions.

Terry Abel says that will change if companies are still having the same problems two years from now when their next reports are due.

©The Canadian Press