Federal Government creates expanded oilsands monitoring plan

August 4, 2011

On July 21, 2011, the federal government announced a new plan to monitor air quality, biodiversity and water quality in the Canadian oilsands region in an effort to provide “hard science’ to reinforce the fact that the oilsands are being developed in a responsible manner. Water quality and quantity will be monitored in the lower Athabasca river. Air quality will be measured at 14 sites for a range of contaminants and those results will be combined with satelitte data. The plan will also examine the effects of contaminants and habitat disturbances on different species.  The plan will integrate many monitoring components already in place, but will boost the number of monitoring sites over a greater geographic area with a specific focus on downstream and downwind impacts. Environment Minister Peter Kent indicated that the government will start to work with the province of Alberta and industry to implement the monitoring plan quickly.

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