Thursday, September 30, 2010

a little action on the tar sands...

In response to serious concerns about water quality around the tar sands, Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced the creation of an advisory panel to look into water testing in the Athabasca river.

“The purpose of their inquiry is to make recommendations on what a state-of-the-art water monitoring regime should look like and then we will move to ensure that that is in place," Minister Prentice said at a news conference earlier today.

Chaired by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, a former Executive Director of UNEP, the panel will have 60 days to report back to the government. The other panel members, all academics, are Dr. Peter J. Dillon, Dr. Subhasis Ghoshal, Dr. Andrew D. Miall, Dr. Joseph Rasmussen, and Dr. John P. Smol. For capsule bios, click here. At this time, the government has said that the findings of the advisory panel will be made public.

"We are determined to develop Canada's oil sands in a manner that it sustainable and environmentally-sensitive," noted Minister 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."

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