ALBERTA – The Alberta Energy Regulator issued an environmental protection order to Syncrude Canada on Aug. 11 after 29 blue herons were found dead at the company’s Mildred Lake site near Fort McMurray.
Reports suggest that one bird was found alive but covered in bitumen. It had to be euthanized. A search of the Mildred Lake site found 29 other dead herons. An AER spokesman said the birds were found near a sump (where water runoff collects) and they appeared to have died at different times.
The environmental protection order directs Syncrude to collect water and soil samples from the site, develop a wildlife mitigation plan, release daily reports to the public, and submit a final report within 30 days.
Syncrude (Syncrude.com) has also launched an internal investigation into what caused the deaths.