November 8, 2010
Invitation for Second Round of Feedback on Draft Documents Regarding Oil and Gas Development In or Within 100 Metres of Water Bodies
The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) issues this bulletin in collaboration with Alberta Environment (AENV), Sustainable Resource Development (SRD), and the Special Areas Board (SAB).
This is the second round of consultation on draft documents pertaining to oil and gas development in or within 100 metres of water bodies. Feedback received on items that have previously been addressed by the committee may receive limited consideration unless new information is put forth.
In Bulletin 2009-04: Invitation for Feedback—Draft Directive on Oil and Gas Development Within or Proximal to Water Bodies, issued February 10, 2009, the ERCB, AENV, SRD, and the SAB announced that a cross-ministry committee had jointly developed a draft directive on oil and gas development within or proximal to water bodies (draft directive). The purpose of the draft directive was to identify, consolidate, and clarify the requirements regarding oil and gas developments in and proximal to water bodies; ensure that industry understood how to meet these requirements; and ensure that the requirements were interpreted and applied consistently.
The draft directive was made available on the ERCB Web site, and the committee invited stakeholders to provide feedback on the draft by March 20, 2009. The committee received over 400 feedback submissions.
Key stakeholder feedback was received on
- the requirement and associated costs to assess and inventory all existing sites
- the use of a risk-based approach
- the requirement to use a qualified environmental professional to assess sites
- using the current regulatory framework
- the application processing time
- the need for further clarification on defining a water body and determining Water Act approval requirements associated with development in or near muskeg and ephemeral water bodies
- setback requirements
- site sensitivities
- the need to ensure that the draft directive is consistent with the upcoming provincial wetland policy
The committee has reviewed and addressed all the feedback received on the draft directive. Further to this review and upon considering suggested revisions, the committee decided that a new directive was not required and that clarification of the relevant requirements could be better facilitated through amending existing documentation. The content of the draft directive has been incorporated into a new Directive 056: Energy Development Applications and Schedules draft appendix, Appendix 14: Oil and Gas Development In or Within 100 m of Water Bodies, and a Memorandum of Understanding between the Energy Resources Conservation Board, Alberta Environment, Sustainable Resource Development, and the Special Areas Board on the Identification and Delineation of Water Bodies (MOU).
Directive 056, Appendix 14, describes a streamlined approach to application submissions, including the upfront work that must be completed, what information must be filed with the application, and what must be retained for audit purposes. The appendix to the MOU outlines a common approach to be adopted by all the signatory agencies and provides industry with guidance on identifying and delineating water bodies and assessing and addressing site sensitivities.
The committee considered the draft directive feedback when developing Directive 056, Appendix 14, and the appendix to the MOU. The committee is now inviting stakeholders to provide feedback electronically on both these documents, which are available on the ERCB Web site www.ercb.ca under Industry Zone : Rules, Regulations, and Requirements : Directives : Directive 056. Paper copies are available from ERCB Information Services, 10 Floor, 250 – 5 Street SW; telephone: 403-297-8311; fax: 403-297-7040; e-mail: email@example.com.
Feedback is to be submitted electronically by November 30, 2010, by completing the feedback form available on the Directive 056 Web page. (The on-line form fields have space for comprehensive feedback.) Stakeholders must provide all of the information requested on the form so that responses can be compiled into a database. If you encounter any problems submitting your comments, contact the Customer Contact Centre at 403-297-8311.
All feedback received will be reviewed by the cross-ministry committee for the purposes noted in this bulletin and to finalize Directive 056, Appendix 14, and the appendix to the MOU. All of the comments, feedback, and information collected, used, and disclosed through this consultation will form part of the public record and are subject to the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The ERCB may use the contact information you provide for follow-up communication related to your feedback.
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