The Alberta environment minister has announced that responsibility for environmental monitoring will be transferred to a new agency which is arm’s length from government. While details are still sketchy, the concept of undertaking environmental monitoring through an agency which is free of political interference and data gerrymandering is one that GallonDaily heartily supports. In this Alberta instance it is apparently also supported by the petroleum industry.
Alberta Environment Minister Diana McQueen has appointed a board to develop an implementation plan for the new agency. Disappointingly, she has given no firm time line for the work but she has announced that the agency will begin with environmental monitoring in the oil sands region and will subsequently expand its reach to the entire province.
GallonDaily would encourage a system in which environmental enforcement would also be moved away from the hands of meddling politicians into an independent agency but the independent monitoring agency concept is a very good first step.
The Alberta government announcement and more information can be found at http://environment.alberta.ca/03379.html under the heading Environmental monitoring agency.