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NEWS RELEASE · 31st August 2010
Pembina Institute
Pembina reacts to study showing oil sands mines contribute heavy metals to the Athabasca River

Simon Dyer, Oil Sands Program Director at the Pembina Institute, responded to the release of the paper "Oil sands development contributes elements toxic at low concentrations to the Athabasca River and its tributaries," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This is the second peer-reviewed study that shows definitively that oil sands development is contributing to pollution of the Athabasca watershed. These studies clearly contradict the Government of Alberta's claims that pollution in the Athabasca River is natural.

"The governments of Alberta and Canada need to move from downplaying and denying oil sands environmental issues to seriously addressing pollution concerns.

"There is a need to halt oil sands expansion (such as Total E&P Canada's Joslyn North Mine Project) until credible monitoring is in place and pollution concerns are addressed."