Pembina reacts to revised draft of Lower Athabasca Regional Plan

CALGARY — Jennifer Grant, director of the Pembina Institute's oilsands program,
made the following statement in response to the release today of a
revised draft of the Government of Alberta's Lower Athabasca Regional Plan:

"The government's efforts
to accommodate industry interests are apparent in this version of the Lower
Athabasca Regional Plan, with the adjustment of some protected areas, and new
loopholes introduced last week that allow further exemptions to environmental

"With the federal
government signaling last week that writing off 95 per cent of caribou habitat
is an acceptable approach as long as thousands of wolves are killed to limit
predation, we are not confident that Alberta's delayed caribou and biodiversity
strategies will protect the province's ecosystems.

"In this latest draft of
the plan, the Alberta government has missed the opportunity to improve on the
weaknesses we identified in the previous version, including adequate protection
for caribou habitat, allowing logging in some conservation areas, and the lack
of limits on water withdrawals from the Athabasca during low-flow periods.

"The Pembina Institute has
recommended that the draft regional plan should be reviewed by an independent
group of scientists and overhauled to ensure the protection of the regional
environment. It now appears these recommendations have been ignored."



Jennifer Grant
Oilsands Program Director
Phone: 403-538-7781

Julia Kilpatrick
Media manager
Phone: 613-265-5579
Twitter: @pembina_media


Pembina Institute has outlined the necessary elements of a responsible oilsands
plan in our recent report Solving the Puzzle: Responsible
Development in the Oilsands.

Institute's media release in response to the previous version of the draft
Lower Athabasca Regional Plan is available online.

out more
about the Alberta Government's new regulations for land-use plan
exemption and compensation announced last week.


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