Tar Sands Development Already Bumping Into Air Pollution Limits for Sulphur and Nitrogen Dioxide

Peter Blanchard/CC BY 2.0

A graphic example of how bad the pollution from tar sands mining in Canada is, coming via the Montreal Gazette: Just two weeks after pollution limits for tar sands development were instituted in Alberta, Shell documents show that sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide levels in the air will exceed regulated levels if all development on the table proceeds.

Already sulphur dioxide levels are about 20 times what they would be without tar sands development in the area from Fort McMurray to 100 kilometers north, with nitrogen dioxide levels being 10 times naturally occurring levels.

Shell contests that the predicted levels are accurate, saying that the elevated sulphur levels occur just over the mines and not over inhabited areas and projected nitrogen levels are inaccurate as they fail to take into account upgrades to trucks, expected to reduce them.

More: Montreal Gazette

Tags: Pollution | Tar Sands