CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A new environmental monitoring plan for Canada's oil sands will boost water sampling and increase information available to the public as Ottawa and Alberta seek to fend off harsh international criticism following revelations that oversight has been insufficient.
The federal and provincial governments said on Friday they will take three years implementing a joint program to continuously study the effects of developing the huge resource on water sources such as the Athabasca River, and subject it to independent scientific scrutiny.
Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent said he is confident that the energy industry will provide the increased funding for the expanded program aimed at adding scientific credibility to claims that all is being done to minimize environmental impact. He pegged the total cost at C$50 million ($50 million) a year.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Rob Wilson)