10/04/2012 09:30 EDT | Updated 10/04/2012 09:36 EDT

Tailings Ponds Ducks: Eight Facts About Tailings Ponds

David Dodge, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Two oilsands companies, Syncrude and Suncor, will not be facing charges for the deaths of hundreds of ducks in tailings ponds they own. The Crown said they had too-strong a defence, which is why no charges will be laid.

An early winter storm in 2010 forced birds to land on the toxic tailings ponds and nearly 550 of these ducks had to be destroyed.

This is the second time Syncrude has been in the news in relation to deaths of ducks and tailing ponds. The company recently paid a fine of $3 million in penalties, the largest environmental penalty in Alberta history, for the death of 1,606 ducks in 2008, the Globe and Mail reported.

These incidents have highlighted tailings ponds and their place in Alberta's energy industry. Here are a few facts you may not know about Alberta's tailings ponds.

8 Facts About Tailings Ponds

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