Suncor fined for dumping oilsands effluent



Dec. 22, 2010

Oilsands giant Suncor has been fined $200,000 for dumping material harmful to fish into a northern Alberta river.

Suncor Energy Inc. was fined Tuesday after pleading guilty to charges under the federal Fisheries Act.

Environment Canada says the fine was for the release of effluent in
2008 from sediment ponds built as part of Suncor operations near the
Steepbank River north of Fort McMurray.

The material in the water was clay and other natural materials and
did not include oilsands or tailings pond effluent, Environment Canada
spokesman Mike Bell said Wednesday.

“It was total suspended solids — matter suspended in water,” Bell
said. “It is deleterious to fish because it interrupts their respiration
and can impact habitat as well.”

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About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.