Alberta oilsands monitoring needs to be clearer to public: review

A review of environmental monitoring in the oilsands says scientists need to do a better job of turning raw data into information the public can use to understand what's happening in the region's ecosystem.

EDMONTON — A review of environmental monitoring in the oilsands says scientists need to do a better job of turning raw data into information the public can use to understand what’s happening in the region’s ecosystem.

The review also says the federal and provincial governments need to form a better idea of what the $50-million monitoring program is intended to accomplish.

The six-member international panel that wrote the review says the three-year-old monitoring program is a big improvement over previous efforts.

But it concludes there isn’t enough communication between scientists working in different areas.

It suggests they have to work harder to ensure the information they generate is useful and accessible to people who aren’t specialists.