Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent says industry will pay most of the cost for increased environmental monitoring of the oilsands.

Kent told a news conference in Ottawa that the cost will be up to $20 million a year.

The plan is for more monitoring stations to take more readings along the Athabasca River from Fort McMurray to Wood Buffalo National Park.

Kent promised the new system will be able to tell if any oilsands facilities along the river are releasing contaminants.

It will also be able to combine air and water monitoring data in response to concern that some pollutants are falling from smokestacks.

Kent's announcement is in response to recommendations from a federally appointed panel of scientists.

It was struck last fall after several scientific reports found contaminants in the river at levels toxic to fish. Those contaminants were traced to industry.