Alberta information commissioner to investigate Kearl tailings leak notifications

By The Canadian Press

Alberta’s information commissioner says she will investigate the province’s energy regulator over how the public was notified about oilsands tailings pond releases at Imperial Oil’s Kearl mine.

Diane McLeod says she will examine whether the Alberta Energy Regulator had a public obligation to disclose news of the leak to the public or others.

In a release, McLeod says the investigation could also be extended to other public bodies.


The probe stems from the lack of information about the releases provided to area First Nations as well as the Alberta and federal governments.

The first release was spotted and reported in May as discoloured water near a tailings pond.

It was found to be tailings seepage but no further updates were provided to area First Nations until February, when it was disclosed to the public and federal and provincial environment ministers, along with a second release of 5.3 million litres of tailings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2023.

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