A large number of environmental monitoring requirements have been suspended for Alberta’s entire energy industry.
The Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”) issued Decisions 20200520A and 20200520B suspending certain monitoring requirements for oil sands operators and conventional oil and gas producers under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (“OGCA”). The decisions were based on information demonstrating that operators are unable to meet certain monitoring requirements while complying with various provincial public health orders and guidelines as a result of COVID-19.
Some of these temporary suspensions include: companies will no longer have to monitor fumes released by burning or conduct programs to detect and repair leaks of methane; Surface waters need no longer be tested unless they escape to the environment; water will no longer need to be lab tested, nor soil and groundwater in many situations.
These efforts are set to resume September 30, 2020.