March 25, 2015 2:45 pm

Oil sands air monitoring cancelled due to funding problems

A dump truck works near the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near the town of Fort McMurray, Alberta on Sunday June 1, 2014.

Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

EDMONTON — An important part of Alberta’s oil sands air monitoring has been cancelled due to funding problems.

The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association has told the government’s air monitoring agency that it can no longer operate its mobile air-testing unit.

Association director Kevin Percy says the vehicle’s roof leaks and its electrical system can no longer run its delicate sensing equipment.

He says that means there’s no way to monitor air quality during environmental emergencies or to respond quickly to community concerns.

Percy says his group was told there’s no money available to keep the vehicle running.

The province’s monitoring system was set up with $50 million in funding from the energy industry.

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