CALGARY, AB — Nathan Lemphers, policy analyst for the Pembina Institute responded to Alberta Environment's announcement of a provincial environmental monitoring panel.
"It is a step forward for the Alberta government to concede that the current monitoring system for the oilsands is inadequate, but this announcement needs to be kept in perspective. The government has asked for recommendations for a world-class monitoring system, but it's uncertain when or even whether they will be implemented.
"The Royal Society of Canada review has flagged that the government is not keeping pace with oilsands development, especially with environmental assessment and monitoring. Even with improved monitoring it will take years before there is sufficient data to make science-informed decisions about environmental impacts of oilsands development.
"Until the system is fixed and we have the results from a new monitoring system, the only responsible action the Alberta government can take is to stop issuing new approvals for oilsands projects."
Oilsands Policy Analyst, Pembina Institute
Phone: 403-269-3344 x124
The Alberta Government's release on monitoring.