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Oilsands companies not responsible for bird deaths

The Alberta Energy Regulator has determined that three oilsands mining operators in the Athabasca oil sands area were not responsible for the deaths of 196 birds in their tailings ponds earlier this month.

The AER was called in to investigate CNRL, Suncor Energy, and Syncrude after it was reported that the operators weren’t properly using audio and visual means to deter waterfowl from landing on tailings ponds.

However, the regulator says that at the time of the incident on November 4th, intense weather conditions forced the birds to land on the pond in spite of the deterrents in place.

Photo: Ducks in a Syncrude tailings pond in 2008, by Todd Powell, Fish and Wildlife

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