Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Alberta's Environmental Strategy

The oil sands are striking when you see them. It is hard to imagine this area was once pristine prairie land and will ever be that way again. Many environmentalists worry that Alberta's environment will not be protected with the incredible growth in the province.

The government has laid out clear targets for air quality, water management framework - to ensure water quality and quantity are protected, and has established guidelines to protect the land in the region. Some effective immediately or within the next few months to years.

"As we face unprecedented growth in our province, with development on a scale we have not seen before, we must be assured we balance that growth with the protection of the environment,"

"Albertans must know that their government is looking at the big picture and preserving our environmental heritage for future generations."

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach

The actions include:
- all large industrial facilities within the industrial heartland will be subject to a cumulative airshed target of 25,000 tonnes per year of nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions and 28,000 tonnes per year of sulphur dioxide (SO2);
- using science-based thresholds, baseline data and limits on 100 different parameters to ensure water quality and quantity outcomes are achieved; and,
- protecting the regional wetlands and groundwater, ensuring that land is reclaimed and mitigating any potential harmful changes to wildlife or habitat by implementing minimum setbacks from the North Saskatchewan River.

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