Emotions run high as Imperial Oil VP talks to Indigenous communities about seepage from Kearl mine – Windspeaker.com
March 23rd, 2023
“There are a lot of things we could have done much better.” — Jamie Long, Imperial’s vice-president of oil sands mining
Anger, distrust and fear were evident in the first community meeting hosted by an Imperial Oil official since news broke last month of tailings pond seepage that had been occurring since May 2022 at the Kearl mine upstream of Indigenous communities in the Fort Chipewyan area. Members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation and the Fort Chipewyan Métis were in attendance.
Jamie Long, Imperial’s vice-president of oil sands mining, had little chance to offer information to those crowded into the Fort Chipewyan community hall March 22 before a man stopped close to him and angrily shouted about Imperial Oil not disclosing the environmental concerns to the community or to the governments of Alberta and Canada.
Industrial wastewater has been escaping the external tailings area, both on and outside the boundaries of the Kearl site, since May 19, 2022, when Imperial made its first report to the Alberta Energy Regulator.
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