Oilsands processing company Syncrude went on trial this week in a case involving the death of 1,606 ducks in northern Alberta Canada, which died after landing on the company”s toxic discharge pond for its Aurora mine in April of 2008. The trial will determine if Syncrude should be held responsible for preventing the bird”s death.

According to a report by CBC News, the ducks met their demise when they landed on the open water of the Aurora tailings pond and became coated in oil and sank to the bottom. The attraction of migrating birds to open water is a known risk, and resource companies commonly use deterrents such as noise cannons to keep them away.

In September 2009, Syncrude pleaded not guilty to both charges, and it was decided the trial would be held in St. Albert, a small city on the immediate northwest boundary of Edmonton.

To read the full CBC News report on this story, click here.

To see a CBC video report of the Syncrude case on The Huffington Post, click here