Alberta to beef up environmental monitoring system

Oilsands industry will be expected to pay most of recommended improvements
Hanneke Brooymans
Date published: 
Tue, 2010-12-21

EDMONTON — Alberta will be beefing up its environmental monitoring system under the guidance of a new panel and industry will be expected to pay the “lion’s share” of recommended improvements, said Environment Minister Rob Renner on Monday.

A group of independent experts will be called together by January and they will be asked to provide details on how to best set up, operate, and govern a world-class environmental monitoring, evaluation, and reporting system for Alberta’s oilsands, Renner said.

“It’s important not only from an environmental protection perspective, but also from the point of view of our social licence to continue to develop these oilsands,” Renner said during a news conference in Calgary. “We talk about a social licence that industry has, but increasingly the focus is also on government. Recently there have been a number of very credible reports that indicate it’s necessary that government step up its game as well and that’s what we’re announcing today.”

The announcement was made a day ahead of the release of a federal advisory panel report on oilsands monitoring. Federal Environment Minister John Baird, joined by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, chair of the Oilsands Advisory Panel, will release the panel’s assessment and recommendations on research and monitoring in the oilsands in Ottawa Tuesday morning.

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