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NAFTA Scrutiny of Oilsands Tailings Ponds Opposed by Canada

Posted January 16, 2015

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Margot McDiamid – CBC News)

Canada is trying to stop NAFTA's environmental watchdog from taking a closer look at the environmental effects of the huge tailings ponds produced by Alberta's oilsands, and it appears Mexico and the U.S. will go along with efforts to stop a formal investigation. If that happens, it would be the third time in a year Canada has stopped North American Free Trade Agreement scrutiny of its environmental record.

The tailings ponds are a touchy political issue for both the Alberta and Canadian governments. They've become a symbol of the environmental footprint of oilsands production. The ponds cover more than 176 square kilometres and contain a toxic mixture of water, clay and chemicals, what's left over when the oil is removed. Evidence suggest the ponds are seeping into the nearby ground and water. Read more here.