St. Albert, Alberta – Alberta and the federal government have levied a $3 million fine against Syncrude Canada for offences related to the deaths of migratory birds at the company’s operations in 2008.

Syncrude was convicted of one offence under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act and one under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. A total of 1,606 migratory waterfowl were found in the company’s Aurora Settling Basin tailings pond.

“This significant result and award demonstrates our government’s ongoing commitment to enforce federal environmental regulations in the oil sands,” said Environment Minister Jim Prentice. “We will continue to work with all levels of government to protect migratory birds and the environment.”

Portions of the fines will be used for projects such as the creation of a bird protection and monitoring program at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, an avian protection research study at the University of Alberta, and the purchase of land in the Golden Ranches Conservation Area near Edmonton.

The charges stemmed from a joint investigation by Environment Canada, Alberta Environment and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development after a large number of dead or dying birds were found in the pond.

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