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Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring

Long Descriptions

Figure 1a.

This figure provides a map of the oil sands development region (Lower Athabasca mainstem and tributaries) and downstream receiving environments, showing water, air and biodiversity monitoring activities prior to the start of implementing the integrated oil sands environment monitoring plan. The implementation of the integrated plan is being phased in over three years (2012-2015).

Existing monitoring during the 2010-11 baseline year

Figure 1b.

This figure provides a map of the lower Athabasca oil sands development region (Lower Athabasca mainstem and tributaries) and its downstream receiving environments, showing proposed water, air and biodiversity monitoring locations under full implementation (in 2015) of the integrated oil sands environment monitoring plan, which is currently being phased in over a three-year period. Under full implementation, both the spatial coverage and sampling frequency will have increased, significantly. This will improve our knowledge and predictive capability of the source, fate, transport, and effects of potential oil sands contaminants.

Proposed monitoring by 2015

Figure 2.

This figure is a schematic representation of the 2011-12 key sampling locations in the Athabasca oil sands development region (Lower Athabasca mainstem and tributaries) and its downstream receiving environments, before implementation (over the 2012-15 time-frame) of the oil sands integrated monitoring plan. Compared to 2010-11 the monitoring network was enhanced by identifying five additional mainstem and three additional tributary sites as key sampling locations.

Schematic representation of the key sampling locations on the Lower Athabasca mainstem, its tributaries, and downstream receiving environments in 2011-12

Figure 3.

This figure provides a schematic representation of proposed sampling sites on the Athabasca mainstem and major tributaries under full implementation of the plan by 2015. Some sites are new, while others are existing sites that were selected for incorporation into the new monitoring network because of their strategic location and/or where there is some historical data. Major improvements over previous monitoring activities are that this new monitoring network allows for mass-balance calculations to be used for determining flux rates, and increases both the spatial and temporal sampling regime, which in turn, provides statistical power to answer scientific questions.

Schematic representation of the key sampling locations on the Lower Athabasca mainstem, its tributaries, and downstream receiving environments as anticipated by 2015, as described in the Integrated Monitoring Plan for the Oil Sands released by Environment Canada, July 2011

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