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April 28, 2016

Alberta Government Takes Over the Reins Of New Provincial Environmental Monitoring Agency

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On April 5, 2016, Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks announced that her government will establish a new structure to improve the Alberta’s environmental monitoring and reporting system.

The new model will replace the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA), which an independent review labelled a "failure" - needlessly expensive, poorly co-ordinated and split by bureaucratic infighting.

The new model will bring environmental monitoring back into the government’s hands under a new Environment and Parks division led by a Chief Scientist, a new position created by the government.
An independent Science Advisory Panel will be set up to provide independent advice to the new Monitoring and Science Division on the collection, analysis and reporting of data. The science advisory panel, led by Dr. Fred Wrona who is currently with AEMERA, will work in partnership with a traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) advisory panel to collaborate with Indigenous communities to identify approaches that reflect community-based knowledge.

It’s estimated the new system will save about $3 million over the AEMERA model. Phillips said any savings will be reinvested into environmental monitoring. When it comes to funding the new model, industry will still be expected to pay $50 million per year


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