Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Program Well Underway

FORT MCMURRAY, AB, July 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, Canada's Environment Minister Peter Kent, and Alberta's Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Minister Diana McQueen toured several of the new oil sands monitoring stations now in place in the early stages of implementation of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring.

The Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring, announced by Minister Kent and Minister McQueen in February, commits to a scientifically rigorous, comprehensive, integrated, and transparent environmental monitoring program for the region. It outlines the path forward to enhance the monitoring of water, air, land and biodiversity in the oil sands by demonstrating how we will sample more sites for more substances more frequently. The program is designed to provide an improved understanding of the long-term cumulative effects of oil sands development.

Both Ministers were pleased with the progress they saw, noting that the monitoring enhancements for the first year of the Joint Plan are well underway, that the joint approach is working well, and that initial results from the new enhanced monitoring are expected this year.

"The Alberta oil sands are a key driver of the Canadian economy. They are currently responsible for over 400,000 jobs," said Minister Kent. "In February, Minister McQueen and I launched one of the most transparent and accountable oil sands monitoring systems in the world. Today, it is clear to see that this system is on track for full implementation in 2015. We challenge others in the international oil producing community to match Canada's commitment to environmental monitoring."

"The enhanced monitoring program for the oil sands region provides assurance to Albertans, Canadians, and the world that this critical resource is being managed properly," said Minister McQueen. "I'm confident that these enhancements are setting the stage for a truly state-of-the-art environmental program for the oil sands region."

Implementation will continue to be phased in over three years to ensure installation of necessary infrastructure, incremental enhancement of activities and appropriate integration with existing monitoring activities in the region.

"For more information and to view a related backgrounder and factsheet, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada at http://www.ec.gc.ca/."

SOURCE Environment Canada

For further information:

Adam Sweet
Press Secretary
Office of Canada's Minister of the Environment
819-997-1441

Media Relations
Environment Canada
819-934-8008

Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca

Environment Canada's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan

Mark Cooper
Press Secretary,
Office of the Minister
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
780-984-0434
mark.cooper@gov.ab.ca

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development's Twitter page:  http://twitter.com/#!/Coop_MB

(Également offert en français)


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