Oil Sands Monitoring

Information on the condition of the environment in the oil sands region is gathered, managed and analysed under the coordination of the Environmental Monitoring and Science Division in collaboration with other regional, provincial and federal organizations.

Study finds contaminants from in-situ bitumen production in Alberta lake near 2013 Primrose leak

Collaborative research by scientists at the University of Ottawa and the Government of Alberta’s Environment and Parks ministry has found that the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have increased in lake sediments near in-situ drilling wells since production began at the Cold Lake oil sands development in the 1980s. PAHs, a diverse group of […]

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Award-winning air quality research in the Oil Sands region

The paper outlines Lucas and his co-authors’ research in monitoring greenhouse gases (GHGs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odour compounds. These compounds have been attracting the attention of both policy-makers and the public because of the Climate Change initiatives Alberta and other jurisdictions have been taking, the potential health impacts of VOCs and odour concerns […]

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Fort McMurray Air Quality Data

Air quality in the region is being monitored a number of different ways: Particulate Matter Data A summary of the data collected by AEMERA’s and WBEA’s portable air quality particulate monitors (PM2.5)* from May 7 to present Particulate matter, as a measure of the amount of smoke in air, is being monitored in a number of […]

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Fort McMurray Fire Updates (May 6 – June 19)

This page features data and information on the Fort McMurray Fire from May 6 – May 24, 2016.

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A new study shows warmer temperatures are affecting lakes in the oil sands region

KINGSTON – A recent collaborative research project between scientists from academia and government agencies has identified climate warming as the dominant driver of an increase in algal growth in the Athabasca oilsands region of northern Alberta. Researchers used dated lake sediment cores to reconstruct past algal production and industrial impact at 23 remote, helicopter-accessed lakes […]

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Measuring Air Quality Over Tailings Ponds

The exploration of oil sands in Northern Alberta generates significant amount of tailings that is stored in tailings ponds over long periods. Fugitive air emissions occur due to evaporation and chemical/biological activities. These emissions include Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Green House Gases (GHG) examples of which include carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4­).

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Oil Sands Monitoring Community Report

You have questions about the environment in the oil sands region…and we’re working to find the answers.   Find out how we’re monitoring in the oil sands region, the questions we’re asking, and the answers we’re getting…visit www.osmreport.ca.  

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Environment Canada air quality modelling in the oil sands

This week several media outlets have highlighted air quality modelling work conducted by Environment Canada under the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Plan. Specifically, Environment Canada presented two video animations at the Environmental Monitoring and Science (formerly AEMERA) February Oil Sands Monitoring Symposium: An animation showing the change in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels over the oil sands region. […]

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Pilot program trains Aboriginal students from oil sands area

As the Environmental Monitoring and Science division (formerly AEMERA) continues to move forward and establish itself as the provincial monitoring agency responsible for measuring, assessing and informing the public on the condition of Alberta’s environment, engaging with Aboriginal stakeholders to find meaningful ways to braid Traditional Ecological Knowledge into regional monitoring, has become a clear priority. […]

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