A tale of two oilsands panels: federal and provincial
Federal government, Alberta both assess oilsands research
The first of two government-appointed science panels, which are examining the impact of the oilsands on the Athabasca River watershed, reported their findings Dec. 21.
That panel submitted their report to federal Environment Minister John Baird last week.
The federal Oilsands Advisory Panel found "significant shortcomings" in the current monitoring system and called for "the establishment and implementation of an effective oilsands monitoring program."
The other panel was appointed by Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner. It's report is expected in February.
Both governments created a panel following the publication of a paper by a team of scientists headed by University of Alberta ecology professor David Schindler. Their paper — "Oil Sands Development Contributes Elements Toxic at Low Concentrations to the Athabasca River and Its Tributaries" — was published in September in the peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Here's how the two panels compare:
|Federal panel||Alberta panel|
|Reports by||Dec. 16, 2010||Feb. 1, 2011|
|Royal Society of Canada members||3 (Peter Dillon, Andrew Miall, John Smol)||3 (Peter Dillon, John Giesy, Jerome Nriagu)|
|Panel members suggested by D. Schindler||3 (Peter Dillon, Andrew Miall, John Smol)||3 (Peter Dillon, John Giesy, Jerome Nriagu)|
Member of both panels: Peter Dillon
Federal panel members:
Alberta panel members:
- Peter Dillon: director of the Water Quality Centre, Trent University; world-class watershed monitoring expert and airborne pollutant expert; specializes in biogeochemistry of lakes and their catchments ; studies acid rain in Ontario.
- George Dixon: University of Waterloo, studies the effect of toxic chemicals on fish and other water organisms.
- Charles Driscoll: Syracuse University, studies how water quality changes when the ecosystem is disturbed.
- John Giesy: eco-toxicologist, University of Saskatchewan, specializes in ecological risk assessment.
- Stuart Hurlbert: director, Centre for Inland Waters, San Diego University; specializes in the statistical design of monitoring practices.
- Jerome Nriagu: University of Michigan, expert in toxic trace metals; studied smelters in Sudbury.