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Four months after a leak was first noticed in a northern Alberta, Canada, tar sands field, operators still don't know what caused it or how to stop it. Now a lake will be drained to try to find the source -- a catastrophe that points up the industry's failure to understand its own processes.

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Early last year, deep in the forests of northern British Columbia, workers for Apache Corp used 259 million gallons of water and 50,000 tons of sand to frack 16 gas wells in what the company proclaimed the biggest hydraulic fracturing operation ever executed what the company proclaimed the biggest hydraulic fracturing operation ever.

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