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May 22, 2014

Alberta’s Environmental Monitoring Agency Now Operational

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The Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency, or AEMERA, formally commenced operations on April 28, 2014, the same date at which the Protecting Alberta's Environment Act took effect.

The Agency has been set up by the Alberta Government to administer an integrated resource management system designed to gather comprehensive data from land, air, water and biodiversity. Other elements of the integrated system comprise: the Comprehensive Environmental Monitoring System; the Land-Use Framework; and the Enhanced Energy Regulatory Process.

It is expected that AEMERA's initial focus will be to assume, on behalf of Alberta, responsibility over the current Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring ("JOSM"), which is anticipated to be fully implemented by 2015. Subsequent expansion thereafter will involve oversight of environmental reporting throughout the entire province of Alberta.

To ensure the independence and perceived independence of the Agency and to ensure accuracy of the data collected, the Act provides for the appointment of the Science Advisory Panel, a panel of eight members which, once appointed, will review the scientific integrity of AEMERA's activities.

Dr. Lorne Taylor, formerly Alberta's Minister of Environment between 2001 and 2004, will be Chair of AEMERA's board of directors for a three-year term.

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