Report: Tar Sands Tailing Ponds Hold Hidden Costs, a Legacy of Cancer Risks

We’ve written about how the proposed tar sands oil pipeline expansion across northern Minnesota would run through the Mississippi headwaters region, threaten our lakes and streams, and violate treaty rights.

Those reasons should be more than enough to stop the project. But we should remember, too, the incredible damage tar sands mining does in Canada and particularly to First Nation’s peoples there.

The immediate issue is the proposed expansion and rerouting of Enbridge Line 3 through Minnesota, one of several tar sands crude oil pipelines coming out of Alberta. (See previous blogs.)

A recent report fromĀ  Canada’s Environmental Defence and the U.S.’s National Resource Defense Council provides some alarming data about the impacts of tar sands mining in general and why we should deny the Line 3 permit.

Tar sands mining requires intensive water use and creates toxic tailing ponds. These tailing ponds recently topped 1 billion liters (more than 300 billion gallons) and growing, the report said. These tailing ponds include: arsenic, benzene, lead, and mercury and pose long-term health risks and hidden costs.

Continue reading