​Alberta Energy Regulator to reconsider Suncor tailings plan it rejected

Image: AER

CALGARY _ Alberta's energy watchdog has agreed to reconsider its rejection of a plan by oilsands giant Suncor to clean up its tailings ponds.

The Alberta Energy Regulator denied the Calgary-based company's applications in March, saying they did not satisfy requirements and a new proposal was needed.

Suncor (TSX:SU) had proposed using a water cap to contain the toxic ponds which contain fine clay particles, bitumen and other chemicals left behind after mining and upgrading.

The regulator says in a letter to a Suncor vice-president that it has reviewed the company's request for reconsideration and decided that it would be appropriate in this case.

The regulator says it was not aware of technology Suncor plans to use to treat the tailings and that should be considered in its assessment.

It says it accepts Suncor's explanation that it could not share details about the technology before receiving a patent for it.

"The AER would ask that Suncor inform the AER of any such restrictions and potential delays so as to avoid this situation in future," the letter reads.

"Given these unusual circumstances, the AER will reconsider the applications."

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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