A committee of independent scientists will be created to review water monitoring data collected from Alberta’s oil sands region, announced the Province earlier this week.
“Understanding the impact of the oilsands industry on the watershed of northeastern Alberta is absolutely critical. We need to have total and complete assurance in data before we make decisions on how best to balance environmental protection with development. Albertans deserve to have this assurance as well,” said Environment Minister Rob Renner.
As directed by Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, the government is in the process of contacting scientists from a list of candidates brought forward by Dr. David Schindler and Alberta Environment experts to create a third-party committee to review environmental data. The committee is expected to be finalized within two weeks.
The focus of the committee will be to examine monitoring data and methodology of both government and academic research findings. They will also investigate whether data is consistent with historical values in the region and explain the relevance of any differences and gaps that may exist. The process is expected to be completed by February 2011.