March 12th, 2013
CEMA Releases Annual Oil Sands Reclamation Report
Fort McMurray, Alberta – The Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) has released the 2012 annual report of the Reclamation Working Group (RWG).
For over 12 years, first as the Athabasca Oil Sands Reclamation Advisory Committee (RAC) and then as the Reclamation Working Group (RWG) with its incorporation into CEMA in May 2001, the RWG has been applying science and traditional knowledge to guide the return of boreal forest ecosystems in the oil sands region. The mandate of the RWG is to produce and maintain guidance documents that provide recommendations and best practices to ensure that reclaimed landscapes within the Athabasca Oil Sands Region meet regulatory requirements, satisfy the needs and values of stakeholders, and are environmentally sustainable.
“The RWG is CEMA’s largest working group and in 2012 undertook $1.7 million in oil sands reclamation research,” said RWG Co-Chair Stephen Tuttle. “This annual report describes all 32 projects initiated and completed this past year in detail and includes terms of reference and budget information for the RWG as well as its Terrestrial Sub-Group and Aquatics Sub-Group.”
In 2012, three projects completed by the RWG were approved by the CEMA Board as recommendations to the Government of Alberta. These included recommendations on the following:
- Validation Procedures for Habitat Models in the Oil Sands Region;
- EndPitLakesGuidance Document 2012 (EPL Guide);
- Criteria and Indicators Framework for Oil Sands Mine Reclamation Certification (C&I Framework).
“The RWG prides itself on producing a comprehensive annual report on all of our projects over the year so that the public can be informed of the important work we do at CEMA,” stated RWG Co-Chair Tanya Richens. “The reclamation guidance documents that RWG develops and updates are referenced in the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approvals for oil sands mines, and they play a key role in the return of a self-sustaining, locally common boreal forest after oil sands development."
The membership of the RWG in 2012 included representatives from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL), the Energy Resources Conservation Board, Environment Canada, the Fort McKay First Nation, Imperial Oil Resources Ltd., Natural Resources Canada, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, the Oil Sands Research and Information Network (OSRIN), Shell Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc., Syncrude Canada Ltd., and Total E&P Canada. For more information on CEMA’s Reclamation Working Group please visit http://cemaonline.ca/index.php/working-groups/rwg.
CEMA is a multi-stakeholder society that is a key advisor to Government and is committed to respectful, inclusive dialogue in the development of recommendations to manage the cumulative environmental effects of regional development on air, land, water and biodiversity. For more information please visit www.cemaonline.ca
The RWG 2012 Annual Report is available for download at the following link: