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Bill creates environmental monitoring agency

An arm’s-length agency will oversee environmental monitoring in Alberta.  

Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, introduced Bill 31 in the Alberta Legislature today. The Protecting Alberta’s Environment Act creates the new Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA), responsible for operating a comprehensive, science-based monitoring system.

“We’re building a monitoring system to understand environmental impacts and help us manage responsible development. The new arm’s-length agency will ensure this work remains open, transparent and underpinned by science and facts.”

- Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

Initially, the arm’s length agency will be responsible for work currently done in the oil sands area under the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring plan. Eventually, AEMERA will be responsible for province-wide environmental monitoring, evaluation, and reporting as land use plans are implemented.

"The agency is the right step forward towards ensuring that science-based and science-led monitoring of the environment - air, land, water and bio-diversity is taking place. It is extremely important that we make sure that measuring, recording, interpreting and reporting takes place in order for Alberta to make the best resource management decisions."

- Dr. Howard Tennant, Chair of Environmental Monitoring Management Board

The work of this agency will provide the best possible data that will be used to make the best possible decisions when it comes to responsible development of the province’s natural resources. This data will detail the condition of Alberta’s environment, specifically air, land, water, and biodiversity.

Once Bill 31 passes, the Alberta government will appoint an agency chair and board members through a public application process. AEMERA is expected to start operating in early 2014.

Our government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

Related information

Bill 31

Environmental Monitoring Agency

Oil Sands Open Data Portal

Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Program

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Alberta to establish arm's-length environmental monitoring agency (Oct 17, 2012)

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