On March 24, 2011, Environment Minister Peter Kent presented Phase 1 of Environment Canada’s plan for a new Lower Athabasca Water Quality Monitoring Program in response to the Federal Oil Sands Advisory Panel.

Phase 1 of the Plan addresses surface water quality monitoring in the the Athabasca River and its major tributaries between Fort McMurray and the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary. The Plan focuses on the physical and chemical attributes of water quality – subsequent phases will address biological endpoints, “effects-based” monitoring and assessment, and an expanded geographic scope.

The Plan is available here: http://www.ec.gc.ca/Content/8/A/1/8A1AB11A-1AA6-4E12-9373-60CF8CF98C76/WQMP_ENG.pdf