No should one underestimate the intensity of the reaction that any suggestion the industry is contaminating water in the region can provoke among oil sands promoters and defenders - even those in the normally staid realm of the public service. For example, Preston McEachern, head of science, research and innovation with Alberta Environment, was recedently forced to issue a retraction and apology to two respected scientists, Kevin Tomoney and Peter Lee, for alleging they "lied in their research about the oil sands industry" in relation to its impact on Alberta's waer resources. The same defensiveness was observed when federal environment minster Jim Prentice, answeringa a question from Liberal M.P. Francis Scarpaleggia in the House of Commons about research by world-renowned water scientist Dr. David Schindler that proved the industry is contributing to contamination of the Athabasca River, described Dr. Schindler's findings as mere "allegations."http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/08/19/LiberalTarSandsReport/
The Liberal report found that industry developments are indeed contaminating the Athabasca River; that the framework for protecting the river is based on "bureaucratic compromise" as opposed to rigorous science-based policy; that there is inadequate baseline data and studies on the project's impact on groundwater;.... and finally that the federal government "has devolved and diluted" its water monitoring responsibilities.Now we dismiss published peer reviewed studies as mere allegations? Wow!!!!