Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 17, 2022. Canada’s environment minister says releasing treated oilsands tailings into the environment isn’t the only solution being considered to clean up the massive, toxic ponds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle

Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 17, 2022. Canada’s environment minister says releasing treated oilsands tailings into the environment isn’t the only solution being considered to clean up the massive, toxic ponds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle

Releasing oilsands tailings into river only one solution being considered: Guilbeault

Comments come as investigators from UNESCO arrive in Alberta to consider threats to Wood Buffalo Park

Canada’s environment minister says releasing treated oilsands tailings into the environment isn’t the only solution being considered to clean up the massive, toxic ponds.

Steven Guilbeault says that even though his government is developing regulations on how the tailings could be drained into the Athabasca River, other solutions are also under review.

Guilbeault’s comments come as investigators from UNESCO arrive in Alberta to consider threats to Wood Buffalo National Park, which could be placed on the list of World Heritage Sites in danger.

First Nations and environmental groups worry that the provincial and federal governments have already decided that treating and releasing the water is the way to go.

But Guilbeault says that’s not the case and that any treatment plan would have to be approved by his department.

He says the decision will be made after wide consultation, not just with oilsands companies.

– The Canadian Press

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