Oil Sands (Part 1)
Moderator: George Hegmann
The Dirt on Dirty Oil: An Oil Sands Reality Check
Presenter(s): George Hegmann
Overview of Government of Alberta Cumulative Effects Management Initiatives in the Oil Sands Region
Presenter(s): Shannon Flint
An increasing rate of industrial growth and associated impacts on the environment in northeastern Alberta calls for implementing environmental management strategies that enable outcome achievement by effectively addressing the cumulative effects of resource development. The Government of Alberta is leading or supporting a number of place-based initiatives in the Oil Sands region focused on the development and delivery of outcomes through a cumulative effects management approach. This presentation provides a brief overview of the context, purpose, structure and linkages among these initiatives.
Not Significant: The Residual Effect of Oil Sands CEAs
Presenter(s): Terry Antoniuk
The scope of conventional oil sands cumulative effects assessments has been limited by precedent and practice. As a result, routine design, mitigation, and compensation measures do not prevent progressive degradation of social and environmental systems over the long-term. Pre-defined management objectives, including explicit targets or thresholds are required to avoid these unintended and undesirable consequences. These will require scientific and local knowledge to inform social decisions on appropriate trade-offs. Computer simulation tools provide a mechanism to incorporate available knowledge and inform decision makers about likely benefits and costs of different management targets or approaches.
Opportunities to Leverage Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment in the Oil Sands
Presenter(s): Peter Koning
Forecasts for oil sands development range from peaks of 4 MM b/d to 6.5 MM b/d. The number of project applications will rise correspondingly. The current regulatory environment requires the preparation of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment, with approval processes including consultation taking up to 4 years to complete. With the projects currently moving through the approval process, there is abundant duplication of information, particularly related to cumulative effects assessment. Opportunities exist for system improvements that leverage regional strategic environmental assessment. Such improvements would yield efficiencies for industry, government and stakeholders. An industry perspective on the current system will be provided along with a perspective on the possible efficiencies of moving to an alternate approach.