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Lower Athabasca

The Alberta government is committed to managing cumulative effects at the regional level. As the first regional plan under the Land-use Framework, the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan identifies and sets resource and environmental management outcomes for air, land, water and biodiversity, and will guide future resource decisions while considering social and economic impacts.

On August 22, 2012, the Government of Alberta approved the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, which is a product of more than three years of consultations with Albertans, First Nations and experts on social, economic and environmental issues.

The plan sets the stage for strong economic growth in northeast Alberta - home to Alberta's vast oil sands resources - balanced with world-class environmental monitoring.

Two annual progress reports are now available to document the progress made in 2013 and 2014 towards implementing the strategies outlined in the plan.

Also available are status reports documenting the results of ambient air and water quality monitoring established in the plan, and reports on the status or management response for environmental management frameworks.

Status of Ambient Environmental Condition

Status of Management Response

Results also show early warning triggers were crossed for some indicators at several air and water monitoring stations.

Management Frameworks

Below are five management frameworks that outline Alberta Environment and Parks' role in managing cumulative effects in the region.

These frameworks outline monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements, set early warning triggers to determine the need for action, and identify what actions may be taken.

The use of management frameworks is a new approach to accomplish cumulative effects management. Management occurs by establishing environmental limits and triggers. Limits in these frameworks are clear boundaries in the system that is not to be exceeded.

Triggers are used as warning signals to allow for evaluation, adjustment and innovation on an ongoing basis. This proactive and dynamic management approach will help ensure trends are identified and assessed, regional limits are not exceeded and the air and water remain healthy for the region’s residents and ecosystems.

Fact Sheets

A synopsis of monitoring actions, results and next steps is available in Lower Athabasca Regional Plan:

Lower Athabasca Regional Plan Strategies

As part of the ongoing implementation of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP), the Government of Alberta is moving forward with the development of several key planning initiatives.


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Updated: Sep 21, 2018