Monday, May 20, 2019

Just Make Sure No One's Looking

Ottawa is preparing to relax regulations governing the release of effluent from some Tar Sands tailing ponds. It was bound to happen in the Great Northern Petro-State of Canada.

Ottawa and the Alberta government are in the early stages of crafting new rules with industry to authorize discharges of treated effluent into the Athabasca River, even though the sector’s biggest companies have yet to show they can effectively clean the toxin-laced water on a commercial scale. 
The federal government is targeting final regulations for 2022 modelled on existing rules that authorize releases from metal, mineral and diamond mines, provided contaminants are within regulated limits for “deleterious” substances under the federal Fisheries Act, according to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail. The changes would also require approval under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
Now, don't worry. It'll all be done right, just as it always has been - in a way, sort of, sometimes. It's better if you don't look, just sayin'.

Ottawa says it would put in place stringent environmental controls before permitting any discharges, seen by some as a necessary step for cleaning up the tailing ponds and restoring them to their predevelopment state 
The industrial waste has attracted international scorn for killing migratory birds, including the deaths of 1,600 ducks in a Syncrude Canada Ltd. tailings pond in 2010 that led to a $3-million penalty for the company. 
In 2015, the Alberta government eased regulations and began developing policy and criteria for tailings water release after the industry said it could not meet more stringent cleanup standards.
Let's unpack that. The Bitumen Barons knew that they were bound by "stringent cleanup standards" when they built all those tailing ponds. They went ahead and built those leaky tailing ponds and filled them with all manner of toxic crap knowing full well about those "stringent cleanup standards." Then, after the deed was done they went to the Alberta government whining "I don't wanna" and so the Alberta government watered down those "stringent cleanup standards" to suit the industry. Now Ottawa is jumping on the dirty tailings bandwagon.

Those tailing ponds are a constant threat to the world's third largest watershed, the Mackenzie.

What could possibly go wrong?

There's an answer to that question in a companion piece in today's Globe. Think of it as the "orphan well hustle." It's sort of like reverse asset laundering. The giants unload 'end of life' wells onto companies that have no money for clean up costs. How in hell do they get away with that? Well the article describes them as "pliant regulators," a common feature in petro-states.


Toby said...

I don't think that corporate malfeasance, of any sort, will be reduced until CEOs, senior execs and members of boards of directors go to jail. We simply have to break that idiot idea that these people are not responsible, just doing their jobs.

The Mound of Sound said...

Part of that, Toby, might begin if we would place corporate governance - the board, the executive, senior management - accountable not just to shareholders but to the public at large.

the salamander said...

.. legalizing toxic pollution .. Polluter DOES NOT pay ..

Will have more to say on this matter.. but in general will say.. the general population, school age and up, simply must demand Mainstream Media (you know, where 'journalism' is supposed to thrive) stirs this pot, turns up the heat, with politicians - elected & appointed public servants, who last I looked, are paid by US.

An example would be to sandbag Andrew Scheer - blindside Ms McKenna - blitz Jagmeet Singh - ask Ms May.. and DEMAND & COMMAND their personal and political beliefs and those of their caucus on this matter are made crystal clear.

That simple - here are the questions.. Do you believe polluter must Pay? Yes or No ?
Do you believe avoidance of responsibility & related legislation and/or loopholes are acceptable ? Yes or No

We (via MainMedia) and via Social Media can insist that politicians respect, reflect & act upon the wishes of their ridings aka the voters and citizenry. We know already the position of Justin Trudeau, Rona Ambrose et al. There were no charges brought since the Mt Polley tailings pond burst. We know the seepage alone from the tar sands tailings ponds is constant & make it directly and indirectly into the water table. Fracking for gas and oil is likely even more pervasive, as its spread over vast and varied areas already. Allowing any level of self regulation is a proven joke.. especially when the government of the day colludes with the polluter. Give Stephen Harper top marks for setting the bar so high.. he simply destroyed legislation that might impede or aggrevate massive polluters.. Legacy eh ?

Anonymous said...

5:07 The only way a government can be made to tow the line when it comes to Pollution of any kind is by changing government. That means this "Free Capitalism" Myth must be changed. The only way to do that is by voting in a "Social Democratic" Government. I urge you to search out the May 15, 1919 Labour Walkout in Winnipeg. People have been fighting against the "Free Capitalist Market" for years. By the way, "Free Capitalism for whom? There is nothing Democratic about Labour either but a contract of "do's" for the employer. It is called a "Precariat".

John's aghast said...

Is it 'tow the line', or 'toe the line'?
I thought it was referring to where you place your feet in a foot race, hence 'toe the line'. I could be mistaken as in towing a line in order to pull a water skier? I like my version better.

Anonymous said...

Tow the in fishing.

the salamander said...

'toe the line' - easily searched on Google - but it gained mucho use re prize fighting, plus line in the sand.. but there was a military aspect preceded them I believe. and yes towing is for waterskiing or pulling a barge

Trailblazer said...

Make sure no ones looking!!
They don't have to.
Even when environmental disaster happen little is done to bring those guilty to justice.
The link to Greg Palast is interesting as he has done sterling work on oil spills.
He uncovers the absolute corruption that is big oil.


the salamander said...

.. great link from Trailblazer .. depressing as hell.. but if its not a wake-up call to face reality .. then what is ???

Anonymous said...

There isn't anything alive in the head waters of the Athabasca River for years and let's not care about the people living down river either. They are only those pesky indigenous people. What a sick attitude to be living with from those government supported oil freaks, who live off of the taxes from people who make less than $60,000 dollars a year. While Trudeau considers Middle Class to be making $90,000 a year.