The Canadian government is investigating a series of oil spills in Alberta’s tar sands operations, NPR reported on “All Things Considered.”
Thick oil called bitumen is oozing from the ground around the tar sands area, rather than pumping up through extraction wells. The spills are raising concerns over the rapidly-expanding technology, which usually has less impact on the environment.
Since 2009, four “seep sites” have emerged, contaminating about 50 acres. A number of wildlife species have been affected, though measures have been taken to prevent further mortalities.
Canadian Natural Resources Limited, the oil company managing the operations, says it has assigned a team of 120 people to the spills’ cleanup.
Image: Alberta tar sands (Credit: Howl Arts Collective, via Flickr)