Energy & Natural Resources Regulatory Bulletin – January 2023
Published monthly for the last 5 years, Integrated Sustainability’s regulatory bulletin highlights the regulatory updates that the company’s team has been tracking within North America's energy and natural resource sectors.
The articles listed below are a selection of the most pressing updates affecting energy project development teams. Read the full bulletin here.
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Term Licence Reports Due & Sec 9/10 Reports Due!
For water licence holders under the Water Act in Alberta, monthly water use and annual reporting are generally required. Annual reports are often a condition of term licence and are generally due on or before March 31 of the year following the year in which the information was obtained. Report requirements vary based on water purpose, however for hydraulic fracturing water users, this often entails: data from Water Survey of Canada gauges, water use per well, location of water use, the volume of water released to the environment, previously forecast water demand vs. actual usage, an estimate of upcoming water required, changes to sub-surface mineral lease and well density plan, schedule updates for project development.
In BC, licence holders under the Water Sustainability Act may be required to submit quarterly reports on or before January 25, April 25, July 25 and October 25 for the previous three months.
Integrated Sustainability offers support in compiling and submitting monthly, quarterly and annual reports. We also support clients who have missed report submissions and need help with compliance.
Alberta: Directive 001 Requirements for Site-Specific Liability Assessment
Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is currently considering revisions to Directive 001: Requirements for Site-Specific Liability Assessment and has created a public comment form to gather stakeholder feedback on the proposed revisions. The deadline to complete the feedback is 8 February 2023.
The proposed changes include revising the liability assessment to include the licensee’s obligation to provide care and custody from the shutdown of operations through suspension, abandonment, remediation and reclamation. The proposed updates also include the incorporation of sites regulated under the Geothermal Resource Development Rules and some of the conditions that applied to sites that triggered the Large Facility Liability Management Program, are proposed to apply to all sites.
Federal: Migratory Birds and Construction Season Commencing
In July 2022, the Government of Canada released the updated Migratory Birds Regulations (The Regulations) under the Migratory Birds Convention Act that addressed added protection to migratory bird nests when they are considered to have a high conservation value. One of the primary changes under the modernized Regulations is the lengthened protection on nests of 18 migratory bird species that are known to reuse their nests across multiple years (including great blue heron, black-crowned night-heron and pileated woodpecker that can be found in Alberta and northeast British Columbia). Where these nests are identified, year-round protection may be enforced (for up to 3 years) depending on the species. Recommended best practice for avoiding impacts to identified migratory bird nests is to establish a buffer zone of a site and species-specific setback distance where activities are prohibited from being conducted (clearing, grubbing, etc.).
The bird nesting period in western Canada can begin as early as March, and pre-construction nest surveys should be conducted as a planning measure to avoid harm to migratory birds, their eggs and nests. Initial site planning prior to the start of the nesting period is encouraged to ensure activities do not disturb or destroy these nests at any time, as well as to allow operators to draw on mitigation plans if there is a potential or known presence of high conservation value nests.
British Columbia: Guide to Obtaining and Utilizing Subsurface Tenure for Carbon Dioxide Storage
A new Guide, the Guidance to Obtaining and Utilizing Subsurface Tenure for Carbon Dioxide Storage has been issued by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation (the Ministry). This provides steps and information to proponents on acquiring tenure for storage or disposal of carbon dioxide via petroleum and natural gas leases and storage reservoir licences.
The Guide provides information to proponents on how to apply if they already have a PNG lease, those seeking tenure, or applying for a storage reservoir licence or an exploitation licence. Tenure is to be issued under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act (PNGA), and permitting or licensing is to be in accordance with Oil and Gas Activities Act. Proponents can contact the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission (the Commission) and the Ministry for more details.
Also, in this month’s bulletin:
- Government consulting on clean hydrogen and labour conditions for clean investment tax credits
- Migratory Birds and Construction Season Commencing
- Pathways Alliance Proposed Carbon Storage Hub
- Imperial invests $720 million in Renewable Diesel Facility
- Directive 001 Requirements for Site-Specific Liability Assessment
- CP Hydrogen Powered Locomotive
- Federal Investment to Advance Alberta’s hydrogen economy
- Government of B.C. and Blueberry River First Nations Agreement & B.C., Treaty 8 First Nations build a path forward together.
- Guide to Obtaining and Utilizing Subsurface Tenure for Carbon Dioxide Storage
- 2022 Geoscience BC Minerals and Energy & Water Research Summaries Now Available
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Integrated Sustainability Regulatory Services
The regulatory bulletin is compiled by Stephanie Demers, B.Sc., Manager, Regulatory and Environmental, Integrated Sustainability. Contact via:
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