Tar sands spills. Take time to write this letter!

We are still trying to obtain information regarding potentially toxic spills from the Tar Sands operations.  Now our concern extends to another spill from Suncor two years ago that was not made public until very recently.

We invite visitors to the 4RG Site to send a letter to Diana McQueen, the Alberta Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Resource Development pointing out that you and other concerned Canadians need more information before you will accept excuses for this spill.

You may wish to use the following text as a model for our letter.
___________________________________________________________

The Honourable Diana McQueen,
Alberta Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Resource Development,
204 Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Canada T5K 2B6

Dear Minister McQueen,

(I or We) are concerned by the recent Tar Sands spills and the impact, both short and long term, they have upon the Environment. Your Premier has claimed that the Alberta Government is open and transparent on environmental questions. The lack of timely information on the circumstances of these spills raises questions about this claim.

Related to the 2011 Suncor toxic release into the Athabasca we are hoping you can immediately publicly release answers to the following:

  • Why are we only hearing about the 2011 event now after the ability for a private prosecution has expired?
  • Who knew about this event? And when did they know?
  • How much was released?
  • Why wasn’t the public notified immediately?
  • What chemicals went into the river?
  • What chemicals are in the pond now? And
  • Why were charges never laid against Suncor?

Related to the March 25, 2013 Suncor pipe rupture and release into the Athabasca River we request you immediately and publicly release answers to the following:

  • Who initially reported the rupture and when did they discover it?
  • What happened in the 7.45 hrs. before the Government of Alberta was notified?
  • What specific chemicals were in the pipeline?
  • How close was the rupture epicenter to the Athabasca River?
  • When will pictures of the event be released?

In the future we also hope that rather than the public forcing the release of such information that it will instead be forthcoming from the government that the people of Alberta elected. We trust that this public transparency eventually will be the norm in Alberta rather than the exception.

Yours Truly,

 

(Your name or names)

4RG: The questions raised in this letter would never have arisen if the Federal and the Alberta Governments had made it a priority to put in place a joint monitoring program. See our latest blog Tar Sands Toxic (?) Water Spill.  Instead the Federal Government devoted its attention to meeting with representatives of the fossil fuel industry, understanding their objections to environmental laws and administrative procedures,  and introducing very large changes to the Federal Environmental Legislation that have undermined the protection that the environment deserves.

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