photo: Nicholas Doumani/Creative Commons
Just days after Syncrude was fined over C$3 million for the deaths of 1600 ducks in one of its toxic tailing ponds, there are more duck deaths to report. At last count, the Vancouver Sun reports 350 ducks have been killed.The birds landed on the Mildred Lake tailing pond in northern Alberta and had to be euthanized after coming into contact with tarry bitumen floating on the surface. Ducks were found to have landed at similar tailing ponds at Suncor Energy and Shell tar sands facilities.
Normally bird deterrent devices are deployed at the tailing ponds so that birds are frightened away. In this latest incident Syncrude said that the ducks were forced to the ground by freezing rain and "appeared to be exhausted and unable to fly."
Only Way to Ensure No Bird Deaths Is To Shut Down Tar Sands Production
We've detailed the myriad problems with tar sands in more posts than I can remember, so let's just go with the Greenpeace statement on the incident. It's right on the mark:
Syncrude's claim that the latest round of duck deaths is due to freezing rain is completely unacceptable. Alberta's weather changes all the time--if tar sands companies can't ensure the safety of birds, animals and humans regardless of the weather, then they should be shut down until they can.
Eliminating these toxic lakes is the only way to ensure the safety of birds animals and humans that are currently being poisoned by these sprawling toxic lakes.
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More on Tar Sands:
Canadian Tar Sands Corp Found Guilt of Killing 1600 Ducks in Toxic Tailing Pond
Duck Death Toll Triples to 1,606 at Alberta Tar Sands Site
Alberta Tar Sands to Increase Output 250% Over Next Ten Years