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Desmog.ca has an investigative piece on how the Canadian government is covering up some of the dangerous effects of its Tar Sands bitumen mining.

An internal memorandum prepared for Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and obtained through Access to Information legislation says evidence confirms toxins related to bitumen mining and upgrading are migrating from tailings ponds and are not naturally occurring as government and industry have previously stated.

"The studies have, for the first time, detected potentially harmful, mining-related organic acid contaminants in groundwater outside a long-established out-of-pit tailings pond," the memo reads. "This finding is consistent with publicly available technical reports of seepage (both projected in theory, and detected in practice)."

The Canadian government has known about the seepage since June but failed to publicize it. This information is crucial to those advocating mining of Utah's Tar Sands.
One conservation specialist told DeSmog, "the basic concern is that end pit lakes with tailings at the bottom will release toxins such as naphthenic acids from tailings into the environment, to the detriment of ecosystems generally. And so many end pit lakes have been approved on sheer faith rather than demonstrable results that it's creating a potential huge environmental liability."
Looks like there is little or no monitoring of this massive environmental debacle. Though I doubt monitoring would be that effective. What we must do is rally to keep the tar sands in the ground

        Tar sands extraction in northern Alberta
           Aerial view of chopped down Boreal forest near a tar sands mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Photo by The Co-operative

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