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Alberta tar sands pollution up to 6,300% higher than industry reported, finds study – Western Wheel

January 26, 2024

The study, led by Canadian federal scientists, adds to other research that found Alberta’s oil sands were underreporting climate changing carbon emissions.

Aircraft flying over Alberta’s oil sands have found emissions of organic carbon — a primary driver of air pollution — between 1,900 per cent and 6,300 per cent higher than industry has reported.

That’s more than all the organic carbon pollution emitted across Canada combined, according to the new study, led by Canadian federal scientists and published in the journal Science Thursday.

Drew Gentner, a researcher at Yale University’s Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and one of 24 co-authors of the study, said the previously unaccounted for emissions from the Athabasca oil sands were largely made up of volatile organic compounds overlooked in routine monitoring. He said they were surprised by the massive gap.

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