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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Monday, June 28, 2010

Syncrude is Guilty


A judge has found oil sands giant Syncrude Canada Ltd. guilty of a pair of environmental charges stemming from the deaths of 1,606 birds two years ago. Provincial Court Judge Ken Tjosvold ruled Friday that Syncrude was indeed responsible for its tailings pond where the ducks were found, and it “did not deploy the [bird] deterrents early enough and quickly enough” around the 12-square-kilometre pond, which contained toxic, oily bitumen byproduct.

Mr. White [the lawyer acting for Syncrude] will recommend his clients appeal because he believes the “judgment is incorrect,” arguing that to find the company guilty when its tailings pond was provincially licensed could effectively make all such ponds illegal.
It is to be hoped that Mr White is correct and that this ruling has serious repercussions for resource extraction industries.  (However, had Syncrude taken steps to prevent ducks from landing on its ponds, it wouldn't have been found guilty. ) June 25, 2010 may be identifiable later as the day where the tide turned against polluters - the day where they became responsible for their "externalities."  How can it be profitable to extract resources if taxpayers are left with the bills for cleanup of horrible messes?  It shouldn't be....

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