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"Traditional land use." Kearl Oil Sands Project mine development

Year: 2005

The objective of this section of the Kearl Lake Project Environmental Impact Assessment was to record concerns about how development has affected, and how the Kearl project specifically will further affect, the land, air, water, and traditional lifestyles of Fort McKay First Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and Mikisew Cree First Nation. The assessment hoped "to capture the complex relationship between community well-being, cultural identity and the land, as perceived by three Aboriginal communities affected by development in the oil sands region." Each community was invited to identify participants for discussion sessions. Fort McKay First Nation was represented by ten Elders and one trapline holder family at meetings; Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation was represented by 35 members at an initial meeting, and 12 Elders and one trapline holder at subsequent meetings; and Mikisew Cree First Nation was represented by 53 Elders at an initial meeting, and 42 Elders at subsequent meetings. A literature review, including previous traditional land use studies, was also conducted. The report is separated by community. Each community section documents the observations and concerns of community members about the project on traditional land use, as well as suggestions for mitigation, monitoring, and follow-up. Community sections are organized around the following broad themes: development issues, such as the Aboriginal consultation process, land access management, and reclamation; landscape-level effects, such as landscape integrity, power of place, and respect for animals; ecosystem health, such as medicinal plants, water resources, and various types of pollution; and human health and community well-being, such as employment, education, and physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Details within each broad theme differ for each community. Where consent was provided, the location of traditional land use sites, features, and areas of importance are also enumerated and mapped for each Nation. Each community section also includes a summarized table of project-related issues and concerns, as well as Imperial Oil's responses to those concerns.

1997-98 ungulate monitoring programs: Browse pellet group surveys and winter track counts

Year: 1998

An ungulate monitoring program was designed by Golder Associated Ltd. to assist Suncor Energy Inc. as part of its efforts to assess the impacts of oil sands development and the effectiveness of reclamation efforts. Ungulates (e.g. Moose and deer) were chosen as a study group because they are important economically and traditionally, relatively common in the area, and fairly easy to survey. The ungulate monitoring program consisted of browse pellet group surveys and winter track count surveys. A secondary objective of the monitoring program was to instruct one of Suncor's employees in ungulate monitoring procedures. The browse pellet group surveys were conducted in October 1997 on Waste Area 8, one of Suncor's overburden dump reclamation areas. Although evidence of browse from the current year was scant, it was evident that ungulates utilize the area. The area appeared most heavily use by moose, judging by the browse evidence and the presence of moose pellets or scat. The winter track count surveys were conducted in March 1998 on Waste Area 8, Waste Area 19, Waste Area 16, Waste Area 5, and Shipyard Lake. The majority of tracks within the reclaimed areas were from snowshoe hares, willow ptarmigans and red squirrels. A few coyote tracks were recorded as well. Snowshoe hares appeared to be feeding on willow and trembling aspen shrubs, and on jack pine branches where snow cover was high enough. Old tracks for moose and deer were recorded in Waste Area 19 and Waste Area 16. The majority of tracks recorded at Shipyard Lake were also for snowshoe hares and red squirrels. Other tracks recorded at Shipyard Lake included moose, coyote, weasel, mice and grouse. There was moderate to heavy browse evidence on the red-osier dogwood, a preferred ungulate browse species. Beaver activity was noted in a side channel parallel to the Athabasca River. A great horned owl was heard in the Shipyard Lake area.

A bibliography of the Athabasca oil sands Fort McMurray Alberta area: Socio-economic and environmental studies. 1980 cumulated update

Author(s): Sanford, C.

Year: 1980

This is the fifth cumulated update of' a bibliography originally prepared in early 1974 at the request of Dr. S. B. Smith, who was at that time Chairman of the Research Secretariat, Alberta Department of the Environment, and who is presently Director of the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program. The objective of the bibliography is to provide a comprehensive listing of reports relating to the socio-economic and environmental aspects of the development of the Athabasca oil Sands. Major reports and some articles on the other oil sands areas of Alberta - Cold Lake, Peace River and Wabasca - are also included. This edition, which includes journal articles received up to the end of September 1979 and reports received prior to November 1979 by the Alberta Environment Library, contains references to about 1,900 items. In addition to listing materials published since the previous edition, it also includes references to earlier items on the history of the development of the Alberta Oil Sands and on the environmental and socio-economic implications of this development. These were located by using the Alberta oil Sands Index and Oil Shales and Tar Sands: A Bibliography. These bibliographies are cited in section I. Several modifications have been made to the organization of the bibliography. Items in the \"General Background References\" section are now arranged chronologically. The \"Economic Aspects\" and \"Industry and Resources Development\" sections under \"Socio-Economic Studies, Fort McMurray Area\" have been merged. The \"Manpower and Employment\" section formerly under the \"New Town of Fort McMurray\" has become a sub-heading of the \"Fort McMurray Area\" section. The \"Ecology/Environment\" section has been moved to become the first section of the \"Environmental Studies\" section. Separate sections have been established for items pertaining to the Cold Lake, Peace River and Wabasca Oil Sands. The Cold Lake and Peace River sections have also been further subdivided to bring articles on the same topic together. Please note that the “Geology” section contains only very selective references. Also, the \"Historical Background Material” section includes a selective listing of early Geological Survey of Canada reports and other early studies. These items give a general description of the area including topography and climate, as well as the hydrological and geographical features. References are only cited once, e.g. if an item deals with both air and water pollution, it could be located in either “Air Pollution General” or “Water Quality and Pollution” , depending on which subject area has received the greatest emphasis. Title entries have not been made for items listed in the \"Application by Industry to the Government of Alberta\" sections. An asterisk beside a title in the title index indicates that the report is held by the Alberta Environment Library. Because journals are readily available, it was felt unnecessary to extend this marking to include journal articles.

A bibliography of the Athabasca oil sands Fort McMurray Alberta area: Socio-economic and environmental studies. 1982 supplement

Author(s): Bramm, S.

Year: 1982

This 1982 supplement to the 1980 cumulated update of \"A Bibliography of the Athabasca oil Sands, Fort McMurray, Alberta Area: Socio-Economic and Environmental Studies\" contains references to about 900 items. It lists journal articles received up to the end of November 1981 and reports received prior to February 1982 by the Alberta Environment Library. In addition to performing a computer search of selected data bases, the following sources were checked for pertinent references: the Alberta Oil Sands Index; the Alberta Municipal Affairs Library; the Alberta Tourism and Small Business Library; Alberta Culture, Historical Resources Division collection; the Library of the Northeast Alberta Regional Commissioner's Office; and the public reports published by Syncrude Canada Ltd. The assistance provided by staff of these libraries was greatly appreciated. With the exception of the changes noted below, entries are arranged under the headings used in the 1980 cumulated update. All headings and numbers appear in the table of contents; those for which there are no relevant entries in this supplement are marked \"No additions this supplement\" These headings and notes are not repeated in the body of the work. The heading for section A under \"VIII. Socio-Economic Studies\" has been changed from \"Fort McMurray Area\" to \"Athabasca Oil Sands Area\" to more accurately indicate the geographic area covered by items listed in this section. Section A also includes a new section \"Education\". As Fort McMurray is now a city, the heading for section VII. B has been changed to \"Fort McMurray\" from \"New Town of Fort McMurray\". Section VII. C \"New Townsite (for Alsands Project)\" has been established to allow for the subdivision of materials on the proposed new townsite. The 1980 cumulated update provided for separate sections for the Cold Lake, Peace River and Wabasca Oil Sands. The subdivisions \"Socio-Economic Studies\" and \"Environmental Studies\" used under Cold Lake are further subdivided using headings comparable to those established for studies on the Athabasca oil Sands. The Peace River and Wabasca sections both contain the following subdivisions: \"General Background References\", \"Historical Background Material and Archaeology\", \"Socio-Economic Studies\", and \"Environmental Studies\". A few items listed in the 1980 cumulated update have been repeated in this supplement in order to either correct the entry printed previously or to include additional information.

A bioassessment of lakes in the Alberta oil sands region

Author(s): Parsons, B.

Year: 2008

The SOx and NOx emissions created by the oil sands industry in Alberta have the potential to cause acidification, eutrophication and increase trace metal accumulation in freshwaters in the area. Relationships between benthic macroinvertebrates (BMI) and water chemistry were calculated and a bioassessment was conducted to determine whether there was a difference in BMI assemblages between test and reference lakes. A Reference Condition Approach (RCA) was used to determine whether BMI in test lakes were different from reference lakes because an appropriate historical dataset was unavailable. Test lakes were located in an area where modeled S deposition was elevated, while reference lakes were selected in areas of "minimal disturbance" and maximized chemical and physical similarities with test lakes through an Assesssment by Nearest Neighbours Analysis (ANNA)-type grouping technique. Three analyses were used to robustly compare BMI composition at test and reference lakes, One Sample T- Tests, Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and a Test Site Analysis (TSA). A pilot study was also carried out to determine the mercury (Hg) concentrations in Amphipoda and Chironomidae and to distinguish whether Hg concentrations were influenced by distance to Hg emissions in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR). A Redundancy Analysis (RDA) showed that BMI communities were strongly affected by pH and DOC. Hyalellidae and Gammaridae were found in lakes with high pH values while Chironomidae and Oligochaete were found in lakes with low pH values. Dysticidae, Leptophlebidae, Corixidae, Sphaeriidae and Leptoceridae were more common in lakes with low DOC concentrations. Significant differences between BMI assemblages at test and reference lakes were identified by the One Sample T-Tests and MANOVA, while TSA identified potential differences in composition at 3 of the 5 test lakes according to a more lenient and reportedly, more ecologically meaningful approach. The differences in substrate and vegetation between test and reference lakes was likely more important in the causation of these differences than atmospheric deposition. Mercury concentrations in BMI were relatively high; accumulation was related to lake pH but not distance to a major Hg emission source. Chemically, the test lakes do not presently appear impacted from atmospheric pollution and because of the study design and the variable environment the differences in BMI cannot be attributed to SO* and NO* emissions. Nonetheless, appropriate field methods, analytical techniques and a dataset were developed so that future bioassessments can evaluate the effects of the growing oil sands industry more effectively than was previously possible.

A bioassessment of lakes in the Athabasca oil sands region, Alberta, using benthic macroinvertebrates

Year: 2010

Emissions of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants have increased in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in Alberta, Canada. Atmospheric pollutants impact aquatic communities through a number of processes, but due to a lack of regional monitoring programs potential biological impacts have not been assessed. In this study, a bioassessment was conducted using approaches borrowed from a variety of protocols to establish a baseline dataset, determine appropriate methodologies, and to assess the current impact of emissions on benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) communities in the AOSR. As a result, 32 lakes, including 5 test lakes located in a modelled high deposition region, were sampled for water chemistry and BMI. The Reference Condition Approach (RCA) was used because a baseline dataset does not exist and data were evaluated using three separate statistical techniques. All of the statistical methods used: One Sample T-Tests, Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and Test Site Analysis (TSA), showed that BMI assemblages in test lakes differed from BMI assemblages in reference lakes. Traditional statistics classified all 5 test lakes as "significantly impaired" whereas TSA identified 3 of the 5 test lakes as only potentially impaired and 2 lakes were in "reference condition". The variability in lake attributes present challenges in interpreting BMI data and establishing an accurate biomonitoring program in the AOSR which need to be addressed in future assessment studies.

A history of Fort Chipewyan: Alberta's oldest continuously inhabited settlement

Author(s): Brady, A. J.

Year: 1983

Written under the sponsorship of Education North from material gathered from tapes, microfilm, photographs and rare books found in archives, libraries and in private collections. The intention of this work is to encourage further reading and study about the time in history when Fort Chipewyan was the centre of the fur trade. Chapters include information on the Chipewyan, the Woodland Cree and the Métis peoples of this area. Also discussed is the forts and their locations, transportation, rivalry on Lake Athabasca, historic sites and highlights, as well as black and white pictures of the town and its people.

A lower crustal perspective on the stabilization and reactivation of continental lithosphere in the western Canadian shield

Author(s): Flowers, R. M.

Year: 2005

New geochronological, thermochronological, geological and isotopic data from an extensive (> 20,000 km²) exposure of high-pressure granulites (0.8 to > 1.5 GPa, >750 ⁰C) in the East Lake Athabasca region of the Snowbird tectonic zone provide important constraints on the stabilization, reactivation and exhumation of continental lithosphere in the western Canadian Shield. The exhumed lower crust of this craton comprises several disparate domains that preserve a complex record of tectonic, magmatic and metamorphic processes from formation to exhumation. U-Pb zircon geochronology documents two episodes of metamorphic zircon growth at 2.55 Ga and 1.9 Ga, linked with two high-pressure granulite facies assemblages preserved in Chipman domain mafic granulites. The intervening 650 m.y. of relative quiescence implies a period of lithospheric stability during which the granulites continued to reside in the deep crust. Disruption of the stable Archean craton at 1.9 Ga broadly coincides with the assembly of the Laurentian supercontinent. The correlation of 1.9 Ga mafic magmatism and metamorphism in the Chipman domain with contemporaneous mafic magmatism along > 1200 km strike-length of the Snowbird tectonic zone indicates that regional asthenospheric upwelling was an important aspect of this reactivation event. (cont.) UL-Pb (titanite, apatite, rutile), ⁴⁰Ar/³⁹Ar (hornblende, muscovite, apatite) and (U-Th)/He (zircon, apatite) thermochronometry documents the cooling history of domains in the East Lake Athabasca region during the 200 m.y. multistage history of unroofing following 1.9 Ga metamorphism. Linkage of reconstructed temperature-time histories with existing pressure-temperature-deformation paths reveals spatial and temporal heterogeneity in exhumation patterns, with domain juxtaposition during episodes of unroofing separated by intervals of crustal residence. Low temperature (U-Th)/He zircon and apatite dates are the oldest reported for terrestrial rocks, and confirm the protracted residence of rocks at shallow (< [or equal to] 2 km) crustal depths following the re-attainment of a stable lithospheric configuration in the western Canadian shield at ca. 1.7 Ga. by Rebecca M. Flowers. Thesis (Sc. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, 2005. "September 2005." Includes bibliographical references.

A preliminary evaluation of native psammophilous plants for revegetating oil sand tailings at Syncrude Canada (Fort McMurray Alberta)

Year: 1997

Native plants that naturally establish and thrive in sand (particularly on active dunes) are adapted to dry, nutrient deficient habitats and have evolved a tolerance to burial and exposure. In 1995, Wild Rose Consulting, Inc. and Syncrude Canada initiated a preliminary study to evaluate psammophilous plants (native to the local boreal ecoregion) for establishment and growth on oil sand tailings near Fort McMurray. Alberta. Seeds and roots of Astragalus aboriginum, Carex siccata, Deschampsia mackenzieana, Elymus mollis, Hierochloe odorata, Hudsonia tomentosa, Salix brachycarpa, and Stellaria arenicola were collected from three active dune sites in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan (Grande Prairie, Lesser Slave Lake, and Lake Athabasca). A preliminary survey of mycorrhizal symbionts was undertaken. Germination was tested after seeds were dried and cleaned. Species with adequate germination were tested for growth in tailing sands under controlled conditions. Astragalus aboriginum, Deschampsia mackenzieana, Salix brachycarpa, and Stellaria arenicola grew well in tailing sands in the greenhouse and were placed in field plots in 1996 (transplanted and seeded). Average survival of transplants in field plots was 80% or greater after two months in the first year. Deschampsia mackenzieana and Astragalus aboriginum seedlings were also emerging. Plants were divided into three groups based on their mycorrhizal symbionts: Elymus mollis, Deschampsia mackenzieana, and Hierochloe odorata formed vesicular-arbuscular mychorrizas, Hudsonia tomentosa and Salix brachycarpa were ectomycorrhizal, and Stellaria arenicola and Carex siccata lacked recognizable mycorrhizae.

A review and assessment of the baseline data relevant to the impacts of oil sands developments on large mammals in the AOSERP study area

Year: 1979

The available baseline data which are relevant to the documentation and evaluation of the impacts on large mammals (moose, woodland caribou, wolf) which would result from oil sands development are reviewed. An approach to the analysis of impacts was developed to provide a logical framework for the determination of what types of baseline data were relevant to the objectives of study. Baseline data for each species were discussed under three categories: seasonal population dispersion, the potential impacts of large development projects, and population dynamics. The review forms the basis of the evaluation of the state of baseline knowledge of large mammals in the AOSERP study area and a statement of the research which should be completed in order to provide the data. A critique of the state of the baseline knowledge of large mammals (moose, woodland caribou, wolf) was conducted with the objectives being to determine whether or not baseline knowledge of these species is adequate to assess the impacts of large developments on large mammal populations in the AOSERP study area, and to identify specific knowledge gaps. Major gaps in the baseline knowledge of moose were: seasonal habitat use, the effects of sensory disturbances and population density; a minor gap was identified in the knowledge of the effects of development on direct mortality of moose. Major gaps in the baseline knowledge of woodland caribou were: distribution on the AOSERP study area, seasonal habitat use, the effects of sensory disturbance, and population density; minor gaps were identified in the knowledge of the effects of development on direct mortality of woodland caribou. Major gaps in the baseline knowledge of wolf were: seasonal habitat use and population density; minor gaps were identified in the knowledge of the seasonal movement patterns, the effects of sensory disturbances, and the effects of development projects on direct mortality of wolves.

A review of the baseline data relevant to the documentation and evaluation of the impacts of oil sands developments on black bear in the AOSERP study area

Year: 1978

Three of the tenets upon which the Canada-Alberta agreement for the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program (AOSERP) is founded are: 1. Canada and Alberta recognize the necessity of improving the scientific understanding of the effects of the oil sands development on the human and natural environment of the Athabasca Oil Sands area. 2. The results of an intensive study of the area will be useful in predicting the effects of any proposed development as a basis for considering future proposals. 3. The results of the study program will be utilized by Alberta in the approval process for future developments and in the environmental design of any project which might be implemented. It is clear, therefore, that AOSERP was established with at least two major goals in mind: 1. To conduct research which will be useful in predicting the environmental effects of oil sands development, and 2. To conduct research which will provide an understanding of the environmental effects of development such that this knowledge may be used in the environmental design of future developments. Development of the Athabasca Oil Sands will affect the black bear population to varying degrees through alteration of habitat, disturbance factors, and increased exploitation. Black bear research in the AOSERP. study area (Figure 1) has not been extensive. One field study doOll1lented radio locations of four cubless females in the Fort Hills area (Fuller ru1d Keith in prep.). Young (1978) categorized habitat in all townships within the AOSERP study area from forest cover series maps (1:126,720 scale) and calculated black bear densities. This was a comparative study based on known densities in similar habitats near Cold Lake, Alberta. In addition, black bear research near Cold Lake (approximately 144 km south of the AOSERP study area) was initiated by Alberta Recreation, Parks and wildlife in 1968 and continued by the University of Wisconsin with financial support from AOSERP. Kemp (1972, 1976) and Ruff (1973) produced reports based on this work; however, a good deal of information is, as yet, unavailable. The general objective of this study is to complete an analysis of the applied research necessary to evaluate the responses of black bears to oil sands development. The objective of this report is to provide a review of the available baseline data which are relevant to the documentation and evaluation of the impacts on black bear which would result from oil sands development in the Athabasca Oil Sands area. This review forms the basis of evaluation of the state of baseline knowledge of black bears in the AOSERP study area and a statement of the research which should be completed in order to provide the data; this analysis has been submitted as a separate volume.

A socio-economic study of Fort Chipewyan, the Peace Athabasca Delta and the Lake Athabasca region

Year: 1973

Within this broader Socio-economic study of the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the section on the economy includes some information on trapping, fishing, resource use, resource access, some Aboriginal communities, and subsistence harvesting, while a later section discusses the area's resource base, including human, fur, fish, forest, minerals, soil, wildlife, cultural and historical resources. The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of low water levels on area resources and resource use. This is not a traditional land use or knowledge study, but there is information from a non-Aboriginal perspective on resource use from the early years of commercial development in Peace-Athabasca Delta.

A socio-economic study of Fort Chipewyan, the Peace-Athabasca Delta and the Lake Athabasca Region

Year: 1971

Study to counteract the adverse effects of low water levels, caused by the Bennett Dam, on the fur and fish economy of the Fort Chipewyan community. Includes population profile and relocation experience of community members. Discusses past and present economic patterns, such as trapping, fishing, forestry, mining & explorations, tourism, agriculture, including exploitation of those potentially beneficial activities. Indicates roles to be taken by private sector and government. Recommends socio-economic improvement through a combination of social assistance and development of employment, economic diversity and vocational opportunity.

A state-of-practice survey of health environmental assessment in the Canadian north

Author(s): Bronson, J.

Year: 2005

The need to strengthen the role of environmental and health considerations in decision- making processes is increasingly recognized by the Canadian government and industry- based organizations. Integrating human health into environmental assessments (EAs) at the earliest stage is critical for identifying and managing potentially adverse effects. The World Health Organization states “health depends on our ability to understand and manage the interaction between human activities and the physical and biological environment. We have the knowledge for this but have failed to act on it”. In light of this shortfall, the primary objectives of this research are to evaluate the scope of health within EA, and to evaluate the state-of-practice with regard to the incorporation of human health impacts into the EA process within Canada’s Northern natural resource sector. The adopted methodology combines both a mail-out questionnaire survey of practitioner and administrator experiences with EA across the North, as well as semi- structured interviews with health professionals. The results confirm the importance of human health integration in northern EA; however, in practice, ‘human health’ or ‘human health impacts’ are receiving inconsistent and superficial treatment with very little agreement as to the scope of health issues in EA. Project-based assessments are often limited to the investigation of the biophysical impacts and neglect to consider the social and cultural effects, and broader determinants of health. In cases where broader social health issues are addressed, attention seems to be limited to those impacts for which the proponents have direct control over, notably employment and business opportunities. Subsequently, the performance of northern EAs is often less than satisfactory, and improvements are required in the EA process to correct this. Barriers iii to effective integration were found to include an incomplete understanding of the scope of health in EA; difficulties identifying causal links between project actions, environmental change and human health; the absence of standardized procedures; as well as economic and temporal barriers. Adapting the EA process to the specific needs of the North, including local culture and customs, and diverse knowledge systems is therefore necessary for EA practice to be successful. The research results contribute to a larger project to increase the understanding and effectiveness of health and EA systems, with specific attention on the Canadian North.

A statistically derived forecast scheme for winds and temperatures in the Athabasca tar sands area

Author(s): Hansen, M. C., & Leahey D. M.

Year: 1982

Syncrude Canada Ltd. operates an oil sands extraction plant in the Athabasca Tar Sands region of northeastern Alberta. Although this facility is designed to maintain resulting ground level air quality within the objectives of Alberta Environment, exceedances of these objectives may occur in extreme meteorological conditions. If these conditions were to be predicted in advance, then plant emissions could be adjusted in order to maintain ground level air quality at a desirable level. The purpose of this study is to develop a forecast scheme, based on analysis of historical, site specific data, which will allow prediction eight hours in advance of real time of those parameters which are required to predict ground level air quality. Specifically, these predictands are: wind speed and direction at stack and plume heights, vertical temperature gradient at stack height, mixing height and horizontal fluctuations of wind direction. Development of the forecast scheme for predictands relating to wind and temperature employed multiple linear regression analyses. Historical data for these parameters were obtained from analysis of 2 399 pibal observations and 2 289 minisonde observations made near the Syncrude plant site over the years 1975 to 1979 inclusive. Concurrent data for the predictors used in the regression equations were obtained from the following national, regional and local sources: the 850 mb pressure level wind field prepared by the Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC), radiosonde temperature profiles obtained at Fort Smith and Stony Plain, upper air wind profiles and hourly surface records from the Fort McMurray airport, winds and the temperatures from the Tall Tower, and finally, surface winds from the towers at Stony Mountain and Mildred Lake.

A study of the chemical and physical properties of Syncrude's tailings pond, Mildred Lake 1980

Author(s): MacKinnon, M. D.

Year: 1981

Syncrude Canada Ltd. is producing synthetic crude oil from a surface mine in the Athabasca Tar Sands area of north-eastern Alberta. This report describes the chemical and physical properties in the tailings pond at the Mildred Lake site of Syncrude Canada Ltd. during the ice-free period of 1980. Syncrude's Environmental Research Monographs are published verbatim from the final reports of professional environmental consultants. Only proprietary technical or budget-related information is withheld. Because we do not necessarily base our decisions on just one consultant's opinion, recommendations found in the text should not be construed as committments to action by Syncrude.

A study of water and sediment quality as related to public health issues, Fort Chipewyan, Alberta

Author(s): Timoney, K. P.

Year: 2007

"This study examined water and sediment quality indicators in the area of Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. Data were analyzed and discussed in the contexts of water and sediment quality guidelines, wildlife contaminants, and ecosystem and public health.

A synopsis of information relating to aquatic ecosystems toxicology within the Alberta oil sands area

Author(s): Jantzie, T. D.

Year: 1977

“A Synopsis of the Physical and Biological Limnology and Fishery Programs within the Alberta Oil Sands Area\" forms a background reference document on the limnology of the AOSER Program study area in northeastern Alberta. Within the report, the following items are discussed and summarized: data on regional water quality, hydrology, physical and chemical limnology, and fisheries resources of the lakes and streams within the Program area. An extensive bibliography of the pertinent literature for the area is included.

Accumulation of fish mixed function oxygenase inducers by semipermeable membrane devices in river water and effluents, Athabasca River, August and September 1994

Year: 1996

Semipermeable Membrane Devices (SPMDs) were deployed for 2 weeks in waters ofthe Athabasca and Lesser Slave Rivers and in four pulp mill effluents and wastewater from one oil sands mining and upgrading facility. Success of recovery of the SPMDs was 66 %, with loss caused by high water velocity and shifting channels and sediments. SPMD extracts accumulated chemicals that induced mixed function oxygenase (MFO) in a fish cell line. For expressing the potency of SPMD extracts as inducers in fish cells, MFO induction in cells exposed to SPMD extracts was compared to MFO induction in cells exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p- dioxin (TCDD). This does not imply that the SPMD extracts contained TCDD or any other dioxin or furan, only that the extracts contained chemicals that were equivalent in MFO-inducing potency to a certain amount of TCDD. MFO induction was expressed as "EROD potency equivalents in pg/g". Extracts of SPMDs from pulp mills were two to five times as potent as extracts of SPMDs exposed to background river water. SPMD extracts from three of the four pulp mill effluents tested (Weldwood, Alberta Newsprint and Slave Lake Pulp) had 62.0, 53.5, and 29.7 pg EROD potency-EQ/g, respectively, significantly more than in Athabasca River water (12.6 pg EROD potency-EQ/g = "background"). SPMDs exposed to effluent from Millar Western (23.0 pg EROD potency-EQ/g) had potencies within the 95 % confidence interval o f background. The levels of MFO induction in SPMDs exposed to river water increased downstream of Fort McMurray. In this area, SPMDs accumulated inducers from the river at levels ranging from 58.5 to 728 pg EROD potency-EQ/g. SPMD accumulation was highly variable, which indicated an unknown source of inducers, possibly an effluent from the town or input from natural erosion of the oil sands. SPMDs deployed in effluent from Suncor accumulated the most MFO-inducing chemicals (16,800 pg EROD potency-EQ/g), with induction potency over 20 x that of SPMDs from river water upstream of Suncor. Although this study was preliminary, the results indicated that SPMDs from the four pulp mill effluents contained small quantities of MFO inducers. Compared to MFO induction by extracts of SPMDs deployed in two Ontario bleached kraft mill effluents, the pulp mill effluents from the Athabasca River were one third to one twentieth as potent. By contrast, very high quantities of MFO inducers were accumulated from Suncor effluents. SPMDs deployed in Athabasca River waters downstream of Fort McMurray also contained inducers, indicating some unknown anthropogenic or natural source in this area.

Acute lethality of mine depressurization water to trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus) and rainbow trout (Salmo Gaidneri). Vol II. Backup data

Author(s): Lake, W., & Rogers W.

Year: 1979

Volume 2 In order to conduct oil sands mining operations in the surface mining region of the Athabasca oil sands deposits, most regions require depressurization of the basal sandstone formations. The groundwater produced by depressurization operations is of poor enough quality to be toxic to fish. The purpose of this project is to provide information regarding the acute lethality of oil sands mining and extraction plant wastewaters to fish. Specific objectives were to provide toxicity information on a specific wastewater using Athabasca River water as the diluent and to compare the value of field toxicity studies and the predictive accuracy of laboratory bioassays using treated waters rather than natural waters.