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Federal politicians criticize Alberta Energy Regulator over oilsands leak, monitoring

OTTAWA — Federal politicians have criticized the Alberta Energy Regulator at an environment committee meeting looking into two releases of oilsands wastewater at Imperial Oil’s Kearl mine earlier this year. 

Liberal member of Parliament Adam van Koeverden tried to pass a motion expressing disappointment at the regulator’s performance.

The motion, which wasn’t voted on, also called for a study into the industry’s health impacts, as well as safety audits for all oilsands tailings ponds. 

It followed a testy session that saw detailed questioning of Laurie Pushor, the head of the regulator. 

Pushor was asked repeatedly about evidence suggesting tailings are seeping from the ponds into groundwater.

He said some seepage is expected and managed.

Pushor said he couldn’t offer much information while an internal investigation into the releases is underway.

Van Koeverden said after the meeting the motion was drafted out of frustration with Pushor’s answers. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2023.

The Canadian Press


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