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How oil exploitation in Alberta affect local enviorment - Essay Example

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The oil sands in the area contain a mixture of water, sand and clay that occur naturally. These components are saturated with bitumen, which is an intensely dense and viscous…
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How oil exploitation in Alberta affect local enviorment
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Download file to see previous pages Despite the benefits associated with the exploitation, the process has numerously adverse effects on the environment. To begin with, oil sand exploitation in the area affects the availability of water in the area. The whole process requires large volumes of water for the separation of sand and oil. Therefore, the whole process of extraction brings about a deficiency in water content in Alberta (Alvarez, 2013).
The process of exploitation of oil in Alberta is associated with the introduction of harmful gases, as well as metals into the earth’s surface and atmosphere. Naturally occurring carbon dioxide and other harmful emission are exposed to the atmosphere during the exploitation. In addition, the exploitation process leads to the concentration of heavy metals such as nickel, mercury, copper and zinc, among many others in the area (Dusseault, 2002).
Admittedly, the exploitation process is associated with deforestation. Normally, trees in the area are cleared before exploitation starts. In addition, the overburden top soil is removed from the area of exploitation so as to increase the accessibility of the oil sand. This whole process has a general effect of soil erosion in the area. The exploitation of oil in Alberta also affects aquatic life. Research revealed that there exist a relationship between deformity of fish embryos and their exposure to oil sands. Therefore, as much as the exploitation process takes root, the aquatic life in the area is exposed to the oil sands, thus affected (Dusseault, 2002).
A research done in 2007 showed that wildlife and human beings had generally been affected by the exposure to the oil sands. For example, research done on moose revealed that the organisms had as much as 454 times the acceptable levels of arsenic in their body systems due to the exploitation process. Moreover, there have been great concerns about ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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