Queen's University

Federal government launches oil sands data portal: Queen's University expert

2013-05-02

Queen’s University expert John Smol is available to talk about today’s launch by Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent of a new website to give the public access to Alberta oil sands environmental data.

Dr. Smol, a biology professor and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, has studied oil sands and pollution. In November of 2010, Dr. Smol was one of six of Canada’s leading scientists appointed to the federal oil sands advisory panel to look into the state of oil sands environmental research and monitoring. One of his recommendations was for the government to make the data transparent and available.

“It’s great that government officials are launching a portal today but let’s wait and see. I am interested in the quality and the type of data made available. It’s too early to tell how effective this website will be. The devil is in the details,” says Dr. Smol.

In January, Dr. Smol was part of an Environment Canada study that showed how oil sands have been polluting lakes in the region for more than 50 years.

Please note that on Monday, April 22, Dr. Smol will only be available for phone interviews after 3 pm.

To arrange an interview, please contact Queen’s University communication officers Michael Onesi (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca).

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