Monitoring Working Group Update

Kelly Munkittrick

Kelly Munkittrick
Director, Monitoring Working Group

The Monitoring Working Group has completed the initial draft of an inventory of key environmental issues that have emerged or are anticipated to emerge from the monitoring data collected under the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Program (JOSM), the provincial-federal program working to coordinate monitoring activities in the oil sands. We are working to cross-reference these issues between JOSM monitoring programs, research programs and current COSIA projects. From there we can start to prioritize and identify what projects need to be initiated as Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) to address those issues within COSIA’s Environmental Priority Areas (EPAs).

In Q2, the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA), the arm’s length agency that will be taking over monitoring, evaluation and reporting from the Alberta side, announced the appointment of their Board of Directors. The new board came into effect on April 28. The Government of Canada will continue to work with AEMERA to coordinate monitoring within the oil sands area.

COSIA’s Monitoring Working Group has selected technical experts from within industry to coordinate industry input into AEMERA’s strategic and technical planning for the 2015 monitoring programs under the $50 million in funding that comes from industry. COSIA will be working with those experts to coordinate that input.

In addition to providing AEMERA with technical input, my role in the process will be to continue to develop alignment between COSIA’s member companies on matters related to environmental monitoring, and to act as the single focal point for industry interactions with JOSM on the development, implementation and technical operation of regional cumulative effects monitoring in the oil sands region, as the programs transition into AEMERA.