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Suncor charged with dumping waste water into the Athabasca River

CBC reports today that, “oilsands giant Suncor and two of its contractors have been charged with 90 counts of dumping undertreated waste water into the Athabasca River and providing false or misleading information to the province about it, CBC News has learned. The charges, which were laid more than a year ago in February 2008 under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, relate to the monitoring of waste water from a Suncor-owned work camp that houses up to 3,500 people at the company’s operations north of Fort McMurray, Alta. Suncor, camp operator the Compass Group of Canada, and treatment plant operator Rodney McCabe and his company R&D McCabe Ltd. have all been charged.”

The article also notes, “The (Alberta) government alleges the undertreated waste water was dumped into the Athabasca River for more than two years, and that the parties ‘did knowingly provide false or misleading information’ about some of the monitoring results from the period of August 2005 to January 2007. Suncor took action as soon as it learned about the problem from Alberta Environment in early 2007, Suncor spokesman Brad Bellows said Tuesday.”

The article concludes, “The next court appearance for all parties is on April 2 in Fort McMurray. The maximum penalty on conviction on about half the 90 charges is $1,000,000 for a corporation, and $100,000 and or up to two years jail for an individual. The parties also face charges under section 227 (b) and (e) of the Act, which carries a maximum fine of $500,000 for a corporation and $50,000 for an individual.”

The full article can be read at http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2009/03/11/edm-suncor-charges.html.