Chemicals from tailings ponds water is getting into ground water and the Athabasca River, according to new federal research.
Using new technology, Environment Canada found toxins around mining sites and under the river, but not in areas away from industry.
It measured the exact chemicals in the groundwater and proved there’s a difference in tailings chemicals and chemicals in natural bitumen deposits.
An earlier study determines one tailings pond leaks about 6.5-million litres a day.
The new study was accepted by the journal Environmental Science and Technology for publication.