Regulator gives Imperial weeks to plan fix for months old oilsands tailings leak

Alberta’s energy regulator has given Imperial Oil until the end of the month to figure out a way to fix ongoing seepage at a tailings pond at its Kearl oilsands mine.

The Alberta Energy Regulator says a pond on the site north of Fort McMurray, Alta., has been seeping since May, releasing thousands of cubic metres of wastewater that contains toxins such as arsenic.

The seepage has been recorded both on- and off-site and is considered to have got into tributaries of area rivers.

The regulator says there has also been overflow of tailings water from one of the system’s holding ponds.

The regulator says there have been no wildlife or human impacts from the releases.

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Imperial says it is working with the regulator to try and resolve the problem.

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