Alberta environmental monitor may already need to expand: official
Agency says it could require another $50 million because of substantial oil sands development growth.
EDMONTON — An official with Alberta’s new environmental monitoring program says oil sands growth is already putting pressure on the agency to expand.
Prasad Valupadas says people from Cold Lake and Peace River have been asking the the province’s environmental evaluation agency if it can start working in their areas.
Both regions have seen substantial growth in oil sands development that the industry the agency was set up to monitor.
Valupadas says that could mean his group will need more than the $50 million a year from industry and government it’s already getting.
In delivering the agency’s second annual report, Valupadas says it has mostly answered criticisms made earlier this week by the auditor general.
He says one of the program’s biggest challenges in the coming year will be to get major aboriginal groups in the oilsands area to rejoin.
They walked away from the agency earlier this year over concerns it wouldn’t be able to answer their concerns about health impacts.
© 2014 The Canadian Press