Alberta’s oilsands are under stricter environmental oversight as the provincial and federal governments move to implement a monitoring plan announced earlier this year.
As recommended in the much-anticipated plan, scientists are looking at more sites, more often and for more contaminants, said Alberta Environment spokesman Mark Cooper.
“Both governments are working hard to ensure we have the most progressive and comprehensive monitoring system in the world,” he said.
In February, federal Environment Minister Peter Kent joined his provincial counterpart Diana McQueen to announce a radical revamp of how environmental changes created by extensive energy development in northern Alberta would be tracked. The move came after years of criticism from scientists and others that the provincial government was doing a poor job.
Those charges fuelled increasing opposition to the oilsands both in Canada and abroad. That opposition has grown to the point where it is now affecting the province’s attempts to increase its energy exports.