Friday, January 14, 2011

Acid rain in Saskatchewan coming from Alberta's oilsands

NDP's Sandra Morin wants Alberta to compensate this province

By Natalie Geddes
January 13, 2011

Acid rain has appeared in northern Saskatchewan and some say it’s coming from Alberta’s oilsands.

A study from Environment Canada suggest that about 70 per cent of acid rain causing pollution coming from that industry is drifting straight into Saskatchewan.

Mark Wittrup with the Ministry of Environment says that testing of over 400 lakes in the province's north has found acid rain in only low amounts.

“We couldn’t say there’s been any damage to date”, says Wittrup.

That same study is currently testing sediment from the bottom of lakes hoping for a reference point to acid levels before the development of Alberta's oil sands. Those results are expected later this year.

David Henry is a researcher for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society.

He believes northern Saskatchewan is just at the beginning of what could be a serious acid rain problem

The Canadian Shield is particularly vulnerable to acid rain damage. He says at the time he did his report, there was very little data out there for just how Alberta’s oilsands are impacting this province.

The NDP's Sandra Morin has said she will introduce a private member's bill this spring, demanding Alberta pay compensation to Saskatchewan.

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