Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Environment Canada says tar sands pollution will get worse: Toronto Star

Environment Canada says tar sands pollution will get worse: Toronto Star
Chris Gardner

The Toronto Star has obtained documents from Environment Canada that say pollution will continue to plague Alberta's oil sands despite plans to pipe harmful greenhouse gases deep underground.

Part of the task of cleaning up the oil sands involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions and storing them in geological reservoirs in western Canada. But Environment Canada says carbon dioxide isn't the only hazard, adding that chemicals linked to acid rain, respiratory problems and ozone depletion could pose serious problems over the next decade.

Plans to triple oil sands production by 2017 could see those harmful chemicals escaping into the atmosphere at an even faster rate. That could offset the benefits of carbon dioxide storage, which is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 80 per cent over the next eight years.

Environment Canada also says the carbon storage technology creates emissions of its own, offsetting the effects of the gas it has captured.


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