Canada’s Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent, and Alberta’s Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Minister, the Honourable Diana McQueen, today announced that access to federal and provincial environmental monitoring data on air, water, land and biodiversity in the oil sands is now available through an online data portal (www.JointOilSandsMonitoring.ca). The new portal represents the next stage of progress for the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring announced in February 2012.
“Today, as the world celebrates Earth Day and showcases commitments to protecting the environment, Canada is contributing and doing our part, by delivering on our collective promise to ensure that scientific data from the monitoring activity is transparent and accessible,” said Minister Kent. “With this portal, our respective governments are actively encouraging informed discussions and analysis on the impacts of oil sands development.”
“Alberta is proud to co-lead the development and implementation of this world-class, science-based monitoring program for the oil sands,” said Minister McQueen. “By openly reporting on our data and our progress, we are ensuring the rest of the world recognizes our commitment to responsible and sustainable resource development.”
The Joint Plan represents a scientific undertaking that is unprecedented in Canada. It will monitor the impacts of oil sands activity over an area covering some 140,000 square kilometres.
The information and data portal offers visitors an overview of the monitoring process along with a map identifying specific water, air, land and biodiversity monitoring sites and allows users to see what is being monitored and the data that has been gathered for each site. As new data is collected, analyzed and validated, it will be posted and be publicly accessible. The information and data found on the joint portal will complement what can be found on Alberta’s Oil Sands Information Portal (www.osip.alberta.ca). Together, the two portals ensure all available data pertaining to environmental monitoring in the oil sands region is publicly accessible.
The Joint Plan is being phased in over three years, with work having begun in 2012. The scope and volume of data on the portal will increase as the Joint Plan is fully implemented.
For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.