Health & Environment
EDMONTON - Thousands of people depend on the water below Alberta’s oilsands region, but the effects of industrial development on those water tables is not yet fully understood, a new report says.
The Cumulative Environmental Management Association released a 37-page report Tuesday that explains groundwater in the region, and warns that lower water levels and poor quality could have “far-reaching consequences.”
Doctors with the Canadian Medical Association are calling for more research into the health effects of resource extraction projects such as the Alberta oilsands.
The federal government’s budget legislation has forced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to cancel nearly 3,000 screenings into potential environmental damage caused by proposed development projects across Canada, including hundreds involving a pipeline or fossil fuel energy, according to published records.
Critics of Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from the Alberta oilsands to tankers on the British Columbia coast say there is no time for the science to be completed before a federal deadline for the environmental assessment currently underway.
Documents filed with the National Energy Board show the environmental review panel studying the Northern Gateway project asked Fisheries and Oceans Canada for risk assessments for the bodies of water the proposed pipeline will cross. The pipeline is to traverse nearly 1,000 streams and rivers in the upper Fraser, Skeena and Kitimat watersheds.
The department didn't have them.
When it comes to exposure to hazardous chemicals, children are not just little adults. “Children are more vulnerable to environmental hazards,” states the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, a subcommittee of the American Pediatric Society. “They eat, drink and breathe more than adults on a pound for pound basis.”(1) This means children are proportionally more exposed to toxins in air, water and food.
In areas of unconventional gas development, children are exposed to multiple industrial toxins, through air, and potentially through water and soil. Yet children’s health remains one of the many unexamined issues of this contentious industry.
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