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WBEA Executive Director invited to sit on expert panel to assess new and emerging technologies to reduce environmental impacts of oil sands development

Fort McMurray, Alberta – Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) Executive Director, Dr. Kevin Percy, has accepted an invitation from the Canadian Council of Academies (CCA) to sit on an expert panel that will be assessing new and emerging technologies to reduce the environmental impact of oil sands development.

 

The CCA is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports science-based, expert assessments (studies) to inform public policy development in Canada. The Council began operation in 2005 and consists of a Board of Governors, a Scientific Advisory Committee and Secretariat. The Council draws upon the intellectual capital that lies within its three Member Academies – the Royal Society of Canada (RSC); the Canadian Academy of Engineering; and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Its mission is to contribute to the shaping of evidence-based public policy that is in the public interest. This is achieved by appointing independent, multidisciplinary panels of expert volunteers.

The Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of Natural Resources Canada, has asked the CCA to assess the potential impacts of energy technologies on the oil sands development, and the CCA has called on Dr. Percy to take part as a volunteer member of the expert panel assigned to address this subject.

The specific question that Dr. Percy and his peers have been tasked with is: How could new and existing technologies be used to reduce the environmental footprint of oil sands development on air, water and land?

The panel will directly address this main question, as well as sub-questions, and may also identify emerging issues, gaps in knowledge, Canadian strengths, and international trends and practices.

The panel is co-chaired by Scott Vaughan, President and CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development, and former Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, and Eric Newell, former CEO of Syncrude Canada Ltd., and Chancellor Emeritus and Special Advisor to the Provost, University of Alberta.

Dr. Percy said of the appointment, “I am pleased to contribute my knowledge and experience to assess this very significant topic. As Executive Director of WBEA, I have a great appreciation and understanding of the importance of generating scientific, fact-based information that allows stakeholders and policy makers to make the best decisions possible. I look forward to working with my panel peers to address this important issue.”

Upon completion, CCA assessments provide government decision-makers, academia and stakeholders with high-quality information required to develop informed and innovative public policy. More information about this particular assessment and the CCA in general, can be found on their website: http://www.scienceadvice.ca.

Backgrounder

Panel Question:

How could new and existing technologies be used to reduce the environmental footprint of oil sands development on air, water and land?

Sub-questions:

  • Using the latest deployed technologies and processes as a baseline, what are the potential environmental footprints of new oil sands projects, both mining and in-situ?
  • Using publicly available information, what extraction, processing and mitigation technologies are currently being researched, developed and demonstrated by the public and private sectors, and how could they reduce of further mitigate the environmental footprint of development on a project or per-barrel basis?
  • What are the impediments (i.e. economic, regulatory, etc.) to the deployment on an accelerated basis, or the most promising technologies?

Expert panel members:

  • Scott Vaughan (Co-chair)
    President and CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development, and former Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (Ottawa, ON)
  • Eric Newell (Co-chair)
    O.C., FCAE, A.O.E.
    Former CEO of Syncrude Canada Ltd., and Chancellor Emeritus and Special Advisor to the Provost, University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)
  • Michel Aubertin
    FCAE Professor, Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, and Scientific
    Director, Research Institute on Mines and the Environment, École Polytechnique de Montréal (Montréal, QC)
  • Joule Bergerson
    Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary (Calgary, AB)
  • Ian D. Gates
    Professor, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary (Calgary, AB)
  • Murray R. Gray
    FCAE Scientific Director, The Centre for Oil Sands Innovation, and Vice-Provost (Academic) and Associate Vice-President (Research), University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)
  • Jacob Masliyah
    O.C., FRSC, FCAE Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)
  • Gord McKenna
    Senior Geotechnical Engineer, BGC Engineering Inc. (Vancouver, BC)
  • Jay Nagendran
    Board Member, Natural Resources Conservation Board (Edmonton, AB)
  • Paul Painter
    President and Co-Founder, IL Fuels LLC and Emeritus Professor, Polymer Science and Engineering, Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
  • Janet Peace
    Vice President, Markets and Business Strategy, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (Arlington, VA)
  • Kevin Percy
    Executive Director, Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) (Fort McMurray, AB)
  • Marlo Raynolds
    Vice President, Market Development, BluEarth Renewables Inc. (Calgary, AB)