The Alberta environment ministry announced this week that they’re going to cut back on acid-rain testing in the northern tar sands region, citing budget cuts. Up to now, the province has been sampling rain for its acidic content every week. They believe they can get the same top-notch quality results by testing less:
“It’s a long-term trend analysis program,” said department spokesman Jason Cobb.
“What we are looking at doing is changing the frequency (with) which we do the (acid deposition) sampling and preliminary analysis, and still be able to come up with a statistically valid number.
“We think we can reduce the frequency, but still continue with that long-term trend analysis.”
The oilsands region needs more monitoring and testing, not less. As you can read in the spin-tastic comments section of Emily Hunter’s latest EcoChamber column, the Alberta government is well-versed in ignoring or whitewashing information it doesn’t like about the “dirty oil holocaust” (Don Martin’s words, not mine) besetting the landscape in northern Alberta. So just not gathering data in the first place, or doing a half-assed job of it, is really the more efficient option, don’t you think?