There was disagreement from CNRL and a government of Alberta apologist for big oil, Minister of the Environment Rob Renner who claimed the CBC pictures "...fail to show the gradual slope of the land, which creates a natural barrier to contain the tailings." Hopefully there's some truth in what he says and there won't be yet another oil sands related environmental tragedy. Environment Canada enforcement officers have been sent to inspect the tailings pond Tuesday by federal Environment Minister John Baird and we'll have a better idea about the wisdom of planning a tailings dump with berms on only three of four sides.
CBC News shot video of the tailings pond and screened it for the world-renowned water expert and ecologist from the University of Alberta, David Schindler. "This is such a big area," Schindler said as he watched the video. "Some of those chemicals have to be seeping into groundwater and Environment Canada should step in."Over at Alternet.org the tar sands project along with shale oil in Alberta, the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains was included in a list of 5 mining projects that could devastate the entire planet.
The land beneath the forest floor is made of clay, which is believed to be a natural sealant. But Schindler says clay isn't completely reliable and engineering tests often don't account for holes created by tree roots or burrowing rodents.
And one more story of note, since the public is split about 50-50 on whether or not global warming is occurring but ninety-seven percent of top scientists are in agreement, they've decided to take action and be more pro-active and speak out about climate change and its' dangers.