Canada's Oilsands Tailings Ponds Could Be Target Of NAFTA Investigation

The three countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement are to vote on whether to investigate if Canada is failing to enforce environmental legislation on tailings ponds in Alberta’s oilsands.

The vote is required after the trade treaty’s environmental watchdog concluded there were serious questions about how the federal government enforces the Fisheries Act in relation to the massive ponds.

Scientific evidence suggests the ponds that contain water used in oilsands production are leaking into the Athabasca River.

The NAFTA body began its examination after a complaint from Canadian environmentalists.

A previous effort to use NAFTA to force Ottawa to crack down on tailings ponds stalled when the three countries voted against pursuing the matter further.