Proceedings: Technical seminar for the Expert Advisory Group to Aquatic Fauna Committee, AOSERP

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  • Oil Sands Environmental Study Group realized that one of the better ways to create an atmosphere in which the industrial and environmental research worker could engage in constructive dialogue would be the provision of as much technical information as time would permit. We have learned from previous disagreements that the main obstacle to mutual appreciation and understanding resides in an insufficient appreciation of the technical aspects of oil sands resource extraction technology and development on the environmental side, and a lack of comprehension of desirable environmental protection objectives on the industrial side. You may place this seminar in the larger context of our belief that through provision of adequate technical information, industry can assist environmental researchers in the identification of the environmental problems attending oil sands development that require resolution. The Aquatic Fauna Committee is trying to take a long-range view the development of the oil sands and the impact that it will have upon the aquatic resources of the oil sands area. Before this program begins, we're trying to ask precise, cogent, farseeing questions that we feel will be important to the legislators and the policy implementors in respect to development of this area. These questions are a1so being asked in an attempt to pinpoint areas which will need to receive attention from biologists, ecologists, and other scientists associated with this program over the next five to ten years. Finally, this exchange could be a vehicle toward catalyzing this long-range view of the problems. The Committee has brought together a group of biological scientists from all across Canada to give us their views on our direction and the questions we should be asking over next three to five years. We hope to bring this group of people together again during the life of the project to let them have a look at some of the data that we’re actually generating. We feel that this of approach is in many respects unique (as is AOSERP itself) in that if we can call on as many experts or people who have had direct involvement in programs similar or identical to the oil sands development, in the long run we shall be much further ahead.

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