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Alberta puts monitoring of oil sands on more scientific basis

The Alberta government has introduced legislation to establish an arm's length agency to monitor the environmental impacts of the oil sands and other projects. Diana McQueen, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development,...


The Alberta government has introduced legislation to establish an arm’s length agency to monitor the environmental impacts of the oil sands and other projects. Diana McQueen, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, introduced Bill 31 on October 28 to create the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA).

The Minister stressed that the new agency will be “responsible for operating a comprehensive, science-based monitoring system,” one that “will ensure this work remains open, transparent and underpinned by science and facts.”

While AEMARA will initially be focused on work currently being done in the oil sands area under the Canada-Alberta Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Plan, eventually the new agency will be responsible for other land use plans in the province.

A management board led by Dr. Howard Tennant, former president and vice-chancellor of the University of Lethbridge is overseeing the creation of the agency which will take into account the integrated impacts on air, land, water and wildlife. The government says the monitoring system will be “unlike any other in Canada and the world.”

To see the press release, click here

To find out more about the monitoring of the oil sands, click here.