Edmonton, Alberta – Alberta’s oil sands will be more closely monitored this year as the federal and provincial governments take a step forward together to make improvements. This includes increased air, water, land and biodiversity monitoring.

The Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring outlines enhancements to monitoring, with more sites sampled more frequently.

“The Alberta oil sands are a key driver of the Canadian economy,” said Environment Minister Peter Kent. “Today we are launching one of the most transparent and accountable oil sands monitoring systems in the world. These scientific reports will be posted on our web page for the world to see. We challenge others in the international oil producing community to match Canada’s commitment to environmental monitoring.”

The three-year plan begins this spring with increased sampling frequency, parameters and locations. It will also integrate relevant parts of existing monitoring efforts, and will give government and industry a scientific foundation necessary to continue to promote the environmentally-sustainable development of the oil sands.

Annual progress reports will be prepared for the first three years, with an external scientific peer review of the program at the end of the third year. Following that, a full external and scientific review of the new program will be conducted every five years. Both governments and the industry currently commit significant resources to environmental monitoring, and it is expected that industry will provide the increased funding required to implement the new program.

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