Tar sands clean-up fund billions in hole: study

The Alberta government’s special fund for cleaning orphaned tar sand sites is facing a multi-billion dollar shortfall, according to a new study.

APTN National News
CALGARY–The Alberta government’s special fund for cleaning orphaned tar sands sites is facing a multi-billion dollar shortfall, according to a new study.

The Alberta government has only collected $820 million from mining companies to clean up 68,574 hectares of land used in tar sands exploitation, according to 2009 data, leaving the province potentially on the hook for billions of dollars, said the Pembina Institute study, Toxic Liability.

The study, released Tuesday, found that it could cost between $10 and $15 billion to clean up lands disturbed by tar sands extraction.

The Alberta government created the Environmental Protection Security Fund to pay for the reclamation of sites when a former operator refuses to foot the bill. The provincial government invests in the fund through security deposits paid by mining companies.

“However, because of the lack of transparency about the true costs of reclamation, the public doesn’t know whether or not the current security deposits are adequate,” the study states.

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.