Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

Oil Spill in Athabasca River

For 10 hours last week, toxic tar sands waste from a Suncor operation poured into the Athabasca River. Suncor refuses to answer simple questions about what happened.
Call on Suncor to release basic information about spill and strengthen protocols to prevent future spills.

Last week, the pipes from Suncor’s operations froze and then burst, spilling 2,200 barrels of toxic tar sands waste into the Athabasca River for 10 hours.

That’s all the public, including the communities impacted by the spill know — because Suncor hasn’t bothered to release any information to us. This has happened before, and then, like now, Suncor refused to answer basic questions.

The public deserves answers to simple questions about the safety of Suncor’s operations and equipment. How exactly does a company let toxins spill into our rivers for 10 hours? How can Suncor not know what was in its own pipes? And if Suncor is not prepared for a frozen pipe in northern Alberta, what else aren’t they prepared for?

Tell Suncor to release details and pictures of its latest toxic spill.

Suncor has a history of withholding information from Canadians in hopes that they forget about spills. Suncor spewed toxic water in the Athabasca River for three days in 2011 and never even wrote a press release to warn communities about the spill. It was not until a report released by the Alberta government a few days ago that the public even became aware of the 2011 spill. The report states that more than 50 per cent of rainbow trout tested in the 2011 spill died.

Suncor’s latest spill is still fresh on Canadians minds, and by taking action now we can ensure that Suncor cannot hide from its responsibilities.

Communities and organizations have joined to demand answers. Suncor can start by answering these simple questions:

What time was the spill discovered?
Who first reported it?
What specific chemicals are in the pipeline?
How close was the pipe rupture to the Athabasca river?
When will they release pictures of the incident?
Together, we are standing up to big oil companies that think they can do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences. We’ve seen before how dangerous the tar sands are. We need to make sure that Suncor releases photos and details of the spill so communities can have the information they need to prevent any more harm from occurring.

Suncor: Stop hiding information about this spill. Strengthen environmental safety protocols.

Thanks for all you do,
Angus, Emma, and the team at

More Information:

Suncor releases water from oil sands pond into Alberta river National Post. March 26th, 2013

Suncor spill site in Athabasca River also had incident in 2011. Globe and Mail. March 28th, 2013

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