The improvements to be put in place under the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring are a good start but only the beginning, according to the Pembina Institute, a non-profit Canadian think tank focusing on sustainable energy. The organization began in 1985 as a citizen-led action group that sought to improve health and environmental standards within the oil and gas industries.
Yesterday’s announcement showcases the progress in enhancing oil sands monitoring so far, and seeing tangible improvements to the system is a positive thing, said Jennifer Grant, oilsands program director with the Pembina Institute, but the work here isn’t done.
Along with continuing to push for an independent governing body and better long-term funding, the organization points out that there is still more to do: “As rigorous monitoring is only one component of responsible development, the Pembina Institute will continue to work with the governments of Alberta and Canada to advance other critical pieces of the puzzle,” said Grant in an official statement. “These include cumulative environmental triggers and limits that protect air quality, wildlife and water, and a completed land use plan. The full package is needed to get the job done right.”