05/10/2018 13:41 EDT | Updated 05/10/2018 13:42 EDT

Canada's Oilsands Tailings Ponds Could Be Target Of NAFTA Investigation

A group of environmentalists says Canada hasn't been enforcing the law on tailings ponds.

Todd Korol / Reuters
Heavy equipment at a tailings pond at the Suncor oilsands operation near Fort McMurray, Alta., Sept. 17, 2014. NAFTA's environmental watchdog has called for a vote on whether the three NAFTA countries should investigate whether Canada has been failing to uphold environmental laws related to oilsands tailings ponds.

The three countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement are to vote on whether to investigate if Canada is failing to enforce environmental legislation on tailings ponds in Alberta's oilsands.

The vote is required after the trade treaty's environmental watchdog concluded there were serious questions about how the federal government enforces the Fisheries Act in relation to the massive ponds.

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:

Scientific evidence suggests the ponds that contain water used in oilsands production are leaking into the Athabasca River.

The NAFTA body began its examination after a complaint from Canadian environmentalists.

A previous effort to use NAFTA to force Ottawa to crack down on tailings ponds stalled when the three countries voted against pursuing the matter further.

Also on HuffPost:

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