I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

NAFTA and The Tar Sands

A coalition of environmental organizations and citizens filed a citizens’ submission today with the environmental side-body of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). The submission alleges that the Canadian government is failing to enforce the anti-pollution provisions of the federal Fisheries Act by allowing the tar sands tailings ponds to leak contaminated materials into both surface waters and groundwater in the Athabasca watershed.  The citizens’ submission documents cases where contaminated tailings leakage has reached surface waters in addition to the ongoing massive and increasing leakage from un-lined tar sands tailings ponds into the region’s groundwater. The Fisheries Act prohibits the discharge of substances harmful to fish, yet the federal government has never prosecuted documented infractions nor has it enacted regulations that would permit the discharge.
A very interesting tactic!  Let's hope it works .  Think of the long term implications to industry if they  are forced to accountand pay for their "externalities."   Gee , clean water and viable ecoysystems for the rest of us versus theri profits - I know which I prefer!

It is shameful that the Canadian government doesn't enforce its own regulations.  Particularly when a paper published in the peer reviewed Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences concludes that " oil sands development is a greater source of contamination than previously realized."

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