Tar Sands Reclamation Research Task Force Report

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  • The Honourable Mr. Yurko has requested the Conservation and Utilization Committee to establish an interdepartmental task force or project team with additional membership from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and others, if necessary, to define our applied research proposal which the government could propose to Great Canadian Oil Sands and possibly Syncrude for their joint participation. Mr. Yurko has expressed the desire to have the proposal adequately defined by the end of January. Although the Committee was of the opinion that in most cases the onus should be on the developer for his own reclamation research program, the Committee also recognizes that it may be helpful to the developer to define what the content of the research project should be. The Committee was cautioned that reclamation is highly situational due to climatic and materials variations. The Committee has agreed to set up a project team to determine what a tar sands reclamation research project should entail, with membership from the Departments of Agriculture, Lands and Forests, and Environment as well as from the Agricultural and Forestry Faculties of the University of Alberta, the Federal Forestry Research Laboratory in Edmonton, and the Research Council of Alberta. It was suggested that the project team specifically take into consideration the fact that the primary onus for the research should be placed on the industry.\" The research topics recommended are 1isted under main subject area headings. Where field aspects of certain research projects, such as on establishing life in tailings ponds, cannot yet be undertaken, estimated dates of fieldwork start are given. Most topics, if not already begun, can and should be initiated in 1973. More emphasis is placed on field programs than on greenhouse studies, because of the nature of the problems involved. However, some topics can only be studied by laboratory methods for several years, until field sites become available.

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