Syncrude could face up to $500,000 in fines after the province officially laid charges against the company Monday for not leaving appropriate deterrents in place at a tailings pond at the company’s Aurora North Site last spring.

The province says the company’s neglect caused the death of 500 ducks that were all found in the oily water pool located in Alberta’s once-booming oilsands.

Charges are being laid under section 155 of the province’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

A person or company who keeps, stores or transports a hazardous substance or pesticide must make sure it doesn’t come into contact or contaminate animals, plants, food or water, under a section of the act.


The incident that made international headlines has also left an oily black eye for a provincial government that has recently spent $25 million for an advertising campaign aimed at greening Alberta’s image when it comes to its oilsands projects.

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