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AWA Letter to ECCC Regarding the Management of Oil Sands Process-Affected Water (Tailings)

September 5, 2023

Click the link below to view AWA’s letter submitted to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on September 5, 2023 outlining our concerns and recommendations regarding ECCC’s ongoing Consultation to Explore Options for the Management of Oil Sands Process-Affected Water (also known as Tailings).

20230905_lt_awa_eccc_oilsands_tailings_engagement

Summary of Concerns and/or Recommendations:

  1. AWA does not support any plans or regulations which may permit the release of tailings into the Athabasca River watershed. Other options should be explored and prioritized.
  2. Halt the production of additional tailings and place a moratorium on the approval of new (or expanded) oil sands mining projects until a comprehensive reclamation plan is developed.
  3. Oil sands operators should be required to pay for the full cost of tailings reclamation and remediation. Public taxpayer money should not be relied upon to fund a cleanup.
  4. Tailings management and/or reclamation needs to be aligned with UNDRIP, and guided by Indigenous communities to ensure it meets their needs.
  5. ECCC needs to consider the cumulative effects of any/all proposed tailings management solutions.
  6. There are significant jurisdictional concerns with Alberta developing their own provincial regulations independently and simultaneously to the ECCC process.
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