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Toxic Lakes From Tar-Sand Projects Planned for Alberta

Canada is blessed with 3 million lakes, more than any country on Earth -- and it may soon start manufacturing new ones. They’re just not the kind that will attract anglers or tourists.

The oil sands industry is in the throes of a major expansion, powered by C$20 billion ($19 billion) a year in investments. Companies including Syncrude Canada Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. affiliate Imperial Oil Ltd. are running out of room to store the contaminated water that is a byproduct of the process used to turn bitumen -- a highly viscous form of petroleum -- into diesel and other fuels.