John Orwin, Matrix Solutions
There has been increasing demand by government regulatory bodies for higher quality, scientifically credible environmental data from areas where there are active oil and gas developments. This demand has been focused, in particular, on the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) in the Lower Athabasca region of northeastern Alberta. The main objective or RAMP is to gain a holistic understanding of potential effects of oil sands development on aquatic systems through long-term monitoring of, for example, water quality, hydrologic and climate parameters. However, these types of programs have been repeatedly criticized for not having a monitoring design that provides the necessary quality of data to identify such effects.