In response to concerns about industrial pollution in the Athabasca River and connecting waterways, Canada’s environment minister, Jim Prentice, has appointed an independent advisory panel of scientists to review the design and management of related environmental systems.

“We are determined to develop Canada’s oilsands in a manner that it sustainable and environmentally-sensitive,” said Prentice. “This independent review by some of Canada’s most respected scientists is a critical step in ensuring that environmental issues are balanced with economic considerations.”

The advisory panel has a mandate to advise Minister Prentice on the current state of environmental research and monitoring in the region around Alberta’s oil sands and to make recommendations to ensure that state-of-the-art monitoring and best practices are implemented.

Chaired by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the panel members are Dr. Peter J. Dillon (Trent University), Dr. Subhasis Ghoshal (McGill University), Dr. Andrew D. Miall (University of Toronto), Dr. Joseph Rasmussen (University of Lethbridge), and Dr. John P. Smol (Queen’s University).

Within 60 days, the panel will report back to Minister Prentice. This report will be publicly available on the Environment Canada website.

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