Photo by Marcus Bence
“We must have some assurance that (end pit lakes) will eventually support a healthy ecosystem. There is no evidence to support their viability, or the modelled results suggesting that outflow from the lakes will be non-toxic.” – David Schindler, University of Alberta
The Globe and Mail reports, “It could one day be Alberta’s very own Lake District, a recreational haven (or) it could turn into a landscape of ponds sullied by toxins and oil, a malingering presence left by an industrial experiment gone wrong. It may take a century to find out what is left around Fort McMurray. When (tar sands) companies mining heavy crude from northeastern Alberta finish their work, they intend to pump water into old mine pits, some with toxic effluent at their bottoms. The 30 bodies of water will be what are known as end pit lakes, left behind because it’s less costly to fill a mine with water than dirt. The very first end pit lake will begin operations late this year or in early 2013, when Syncrude Canada begins pumping fresh water over 40 vertical metres of mine effluent that it has deposited in what it calls base mine lake.”
The news article can be read at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ambitious-plans-for-oil-sands-would-create-lakes-from-waste/article4583817/.