EDMONTON — Environmentalists and opposition politicians say research suggesting that oil sands tailings are leaching into groundwater should convince governments to slow the industry’s growth.But industry and government officials say the Environment Canada study isn’t conclusive and more study is needed before action is taken.The study used new technology to fingerprint chemicals in groundwater around two tailings ponds.It found those chemicals — some of which are cancer-causing and highly toxic — matched those found in water from the ponds.Alberta New Democrat Rachel Notley says the government should stop approving new projects until it’s sure the leakage isn’t harming the environment.Study author Richard Frank says his work is just starting to answer those questions, but it’s the strongest indication yet that the huge ponds are releasing chemicals into groundwater and the Athabasca River.

Oil sands foes say study showing tailings pond leakage demands industry slowdown
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