Environmental Assessment

Environmental Assessment Changes: Will They Affect You? (Webinar)

Apr 19 2011 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Are you confused about how recent changes in Environmental Assessment law will affect your practice? Can we expect federal Environmental Assessments to be conducted differently now?

Join Laura Bowman, Staff Counsel at the Environmental Law Centre of Alberta on April 19th to find out what changes have been made in the last year and how they will impact the federal environmental assessment process.

Click here to RSVP. Read more about Environmental Assessment Changes: Will They Affect You? (Webinar)

Pembina Reacts to Lower Athabasca Water Quality Monitoring Plan

Jennifer Grant, director of the Pembina Institute's oilsands program, made the following statement in response to the Federal Lower Athabasca Water Quality Monitoring Plan:

"This plan is a good step toward providing a credible foundation for the monitoring of the Athabasca River downstream from the oilsands. We hope this plan signals that the federal government is willing to meet its obligations to ensure that oilsands development occurs responsibly and in accordance with Canadians' expectations.

Read more about Pembina Reacts to Lower Athabasca Water Quality Monitoring Plan

Call for Comments: Jackpine Mine Expansion & Pierre River Mine Projects Public Consultation on Joint Review Agreements

Initiative: 
Jackpine Mine Expansion and Pierre River Mine Projects Public Consultation on Joint Review Agreements
Deadline: 
6 Apr 2011

On March 7, 2011, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) released for public comment draft agreements to establish joint panels with Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) for the environmental assessments of two oil sands projects: the Jackpine Mine Expansion and Pierre River Mine projects in northern Alberta. Read more about Call for Comments: Jackpine Mine Expansion & Pierre River Mine Projects Public Consultation on Joint Review Agreements

Oil sands monitoring steps laid out by Alberta ENGO

Keys to regaining credibility include establishing baselines, asserting federal leadership, and maintaining scientific independence

The credibility of Alberta's and Canada's attempts to responsibly manage the environmental effects of oil sands development rests on responding to calls for improved monitoring of the Athabasca River. Today Water Matters, an Alberta-based water-policy think-tank, has released Replacing the Oil Sands' Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program (RAMP) with Effective Environmental Monitoring Solutions, providing recommendations for improving freshwater monitoring system between the Government of Canada and the province of Alberta. Read more about Oil sands monitoring steps laid out by Alberta ENGO

Approval of Total oilsands mine deeply flawed

CALGARY, AB — Environmental groups are condemning the approval of the Total Joslyn North Mine project, which fails to meet legal requirements for cumulative impacts assessment and ignores growing concerns about lack of government oversight and monitoring.

The Oil Sands Environmental Coalition, represented by Ecojustice, opposed the project in provincial-federal joint review panel hearings last fall. Read more about Approval of Total oilsands mine deeply flawed

Monitoring on the Mind

With the spate of news & reports on environmental monitoring (or the lack thereof) in the oilsands region, monitoring is on the mind of a couple of AEN members.

Laura Bowman of the Environmental Law Centre posts on the need for an independent environmental monitoring agency:

…a clear, unambiguous commitment to better monitoring resources and stronger federal and provincial oversight at the approvals stage is still glaringly absent. What the oilsands really need is a well-resourced agency with the expertise and independence to be a bold regulator. 

Pembina's Terra Simieritsch writes on the importance of water quality monitoring, and asks some questions of the federal & provincial governments:

Will limits be set and will laws be enforced? And ultimately, if the data points to unacceptable changes in the Athabasca River, what are the federal and provincial governments prepared to do? Read more about Monitoring on the Mind

Pembina reacts to Alberta Environment oilsands monitoring announcement

CALGARY, AB — Nathan Lemphers, policy analyst for the Pembina Institute responded to Alberta Environment's announcement of a provincial environmental monitoring panel.

"It is a step forward for the Alberta government to concede that the current monitoring system for the oilsands is inadequate, but this announcement needs to be kept in perspective. The government has asked for recommendations for a world-class monitoring system, but it's uncertain when or even whether they will be implemented.

 

Read more about Pembina reacts to Alberta Environment oilsands monitoring announcement

Sierra Club Canada Response to Royal Society of Canada Report

Edmonton - The Royal Society of Canada report on the tar sands validates the concerns of Sierra Club Canada in calling for improved environmental assessment, enforcement of regulations, studies of impacts on ground and surface water  and monitoring of health impacts.

"Repeated throughout the report is a call for more study of the impacts and greater access to information," said John Bennett. Read more about Sierra Club Canada Response to Royal Society of Canada Report

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