Suncor studying Alberta release

March 27, 2013 at 6:50 AM

EDMONTON, Alberta, March 27 (UPI) -- Canadian energy company Suncor said it's examining water samples from the Athabasca River to determine if contamination occurred due to an oil release.

Suncor Energy Inc. confirmed a pipeline carrying industrial waste from a tar sands oil extraction site froze and cracked Monday. Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal told The Globe and Mail newspaper that some waste reached the Athabasca River.

"We don't anticipate any impact on the river," she said. "But as a precautionary measure, we are continuing to analyze river samples downstream from the release."

Water and other environmental concerns have sparked debate over the safety of tar sands oil, a heavier crude oil that's widespread in Alberta.

Canadian researchers published an article in January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America saying pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons increased near oil sands developments.

The document says PAH influxes into six lake sediments included in the study were at levels as much as 23 times greater than levels recorded in the 1960s. PAHs have been blamed for agricultural crop and marine species problems. PAHs occur naturally in oil, petroleum products and coal.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy drops bid for speaker
WikiLeaks offering $50K for video of Afghan hospital bombing
Murdoch sorry for implying Obama's not a 'real black president'
Reid sues exercise companies over eye injury
Lumber Liquidators to pay $10M in DOJ settlement