Most substance releases from energy developments in Alberta—oil, oil sands, in situ, natural gas, pipeline, and coal projects—must be reported to us. This page includes release reporting information and requirements that companies must follow.
When a release occurs, companies are responsible for coordinating the response to manage and clean up the release. Learn about how we expect companies to respond on our Incident Response and Remediation pages.
Releases that meet certain criteria must be reported to us immediately. To report a release related to an energy development, please call our 24-hour Energy/Environmental Emergency and Operational Complaint Line at 1-800-222-6514. Find out more about when and how to inform us.
What kinds of releases must be reported?
Some releases that must be reported to us immediately include:
- any leak or break from a pipeline;
- release of a substance that has caused, is causing, or may cause an adverse effect;
- release of a substance into a water body;
- release of a substance into a watercourse, groundwater, or surface water;
- release of oil, water, or unrefined product off site; and
- release of oil, water, or unrefined product exceeding 2 cubic metres on site, or has caused, is causing, or may cause an adverse effect.
For a full list of reportable releases, and information about our reporting requirements, read our Release Reporting Requirements brochure.
Companies that do not follow our reporting requirements may be subject to enforcement action.
Submit a Release Report
After notifying us about a release, companies must complete a release report to record the release type, volume, location, any adverse effects on the environment, and other information. For guidance, see our Frequently Asked Questions document and, for pipeline incidents, the definitions document.
Once completed, the report must be submitted to the AER field centre closest to where the release occurred.
Release Report: Surface Release During HDD for Pipeline Construction
This report must be completed by companies to notify us about non-emergency, low-impact releases from horizontal directional drilling (HDD) for pipeline construction. See Bulletin 2017-09: Reporting Non-Emergency Releases from Pipeline Horizontal Directional Drilling for reporting criteria and more information.
Rules to Follow
Our release reporting requirements are set out in the following acts, regulations, and rules:
- Oil and Gas Conservation Rules (sections 8.050, 8.051, and 8.190)
- Pipeline Act (section 35)
- Pipeline Rules (section 76)
- Oil Sands Conservation Rules (section 13)
- Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (sections 110, 111, and 112)
- Release Reporting Regulation (sections 3, 4)
If you have questions about release reporting, please contact our Customer Contact Centre.