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$3M grant for development of new technology to reduce tailing ponds’ environmental impact


Edmonton, AB – A $3-million grant to the University of Alberta’s School of Energy and the Environment (SEE) from Alberta’s provincial government is aimed at improving tailings pond reclamation in Alberta’s oil sands region.

“Creating new technology to reclaim land disturbed during oil sands development is essential to ensuring that we remain responsible stewards,” said Rob Renner, environment minister. “What we put back into the land after development is just as important as the resources we have pulled out. This grant will help ensure that the reclamation process proceeds as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

SEE is a partner of the newly created Canada School of Energy and Environment, which is an innovative and integrated research and educational collaboration among three Alberta universities. This organization seeks to develop new technologies to reduce the environmental impact of current energy sources while encouraging the development of sustainable alternate energy sources.

“The expertise SEE brings to the issue of oil sands reclamation ranges across a diverse set of disciplines and mind sets, including technological, scientific, cultural and legal,” said Indira Samarasekera, president of the University of Alberta. “Through SEE, the University of Alberta can bring together some of the best minds in the world to solve the puzzles presented to us by the need to protect the environment while implementing new energy technologies – utilizing resources and expertise across a wide range of disciplines and faculties.”

The grant will be used to help develop new technology to help reclaim tailing ponds, which collect waste material created during oil sands extraction.