Posted by Jarry on .
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The Alberta oil sands are being developed at an unprecedented rate for oil extraction. Consequently there is a great deal of environmental degradation, habitat fragmentation and negative impacts to both wildlife populations and human health. These impacts include heavy metal toxicity such as mercury in fish, human and other trophic level feeders through bioaccumulation. Arsenic, copper, lead and there compounds are contaminants of concern. Organic contaminants include PAHs and other persistent organic pollutants. Metabolized aromatic hydrocarbons are especially a concern for human health. Air emissions are concerning as a toxic release caused several school children from a local school to seek medical treatment from acute affects of NOx and SOx. Additional concerns include hydrology and terrain changes to the landscape resulting in severe population declines for both muskrat and the Species at Risk woodland caribou. This environmental concern should be addressed through legislative changes and enforcement to the Species at Risk Act, and the Environmental Protection and Clean Water Acts.