‘Major failure’ of coal mine pit releases waste water into Athabasca River
A pit containing coal process and surface water failed at the Obed Mountain Coal Mine on Thursday evening, releasing a large quantity of the process water into the Athabasca River.
“Coal mines typically have a pit where the waste and water – coal dust and water – gather. And that pit, the open pit that contains that mixture, failed,” explained Darin Barter, a spokesperson with AER. “It’s our understanding that the water has entered two tributaries in the Athabasca River.”
Communities in the area have been notified of the failure, but Barter says it doesn’t affect residents’ drinking water.
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