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Alberta announces committee to help speed up oilsands tailings reclamation

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is appointing a new committee to look into ways to speed up reclamation of tailings ponds in the province’s oilsands. 

The province says in a release that the committee will examine potential policies and options that would allow reclamation to happen as quickly and safely as possible.

The six-member committee includes a United Conservative Party legislature member, an oilsands executive, an engineering professor, a former Conservative cabinet minister, a former regulator and the chief of Fort McKay First Nation. 

The committee is to be supported by a facilitator from outside the government. 

It is to report on which reclamation methods are economically and environmentally feasible, although there is no date as to when it must report. 

The committee follows in the footsteps of other bodies established over decades to look into the same issue. 

Some measures put the tailings ponds at more than 300 square kilometres in size and growing.

The Canadian Press

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