Before applying for a reclamation certificate to close their oil and gas sites, companies must submit a series of environmental site assessments through OneStop.
Environmental Site Assessment Submissions
Click on an assessment to learn about its purpose and what companies must include.
Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment
The phase 1 environmental site assessment determines whether there is potential contamination on and off lease. The assessment includes a site description, a records review, a site visit, a drilling waste disposal assessment (see below), discussions with former landowners and site operators, and a report.
This assessment can be submitted through OneStop, which will link this assessment with the company’s future reclamation certificate application.
Drilling Waste Disposal Assessment
As part of the phase 1 environmental site assessment, companies must complete a drilling waste disposal assessment using the following documents:
- Assessing Drilling Waste Disposal Areas: Compliance Options for Reclamation Certification [PDF]
- Compliance Option 1: Drilling Waste Assessment Disposal Checklist [DOC]
- Drill Stem Test Return Calculations for Compliance Option Two [XLS]
Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment
If the phase 1 environmental site assessment indicates that contamination is likely, companies must complete a phase 2 environmental site assessment. This assessment is designed to gather information about the nature, depth, and extent of the contamination. It is also used to assess risk and options for remediation. To complete this assessment, a company must have
- knowledge of its oil and gas operations,
- an understanding of what contaminants may be present, and
- experience in assessing soil and groundwater contamination.
Data collected on contaminant levels must be compared with the appropriate remediation guidelines. If contaminant levels exceed these guidelines, a company will have to remediate the site, explore options to manage the risk of contamination, or further characterize the site and risk of contamination.
This assessment must be submitted with the reclamation certificate application through OneStop.
Remediation and Confirmatory Sampling (Remediation Report)
Companies must submit a remediation report to us through OneStop that verifies that contamination has been removed and that the company has achieved its remediation objectives. This report must be supported by soil and groundwater sampling data.
To qualify for a reclamation certificate, energy companies must receive professional sign off for all oil and gas reclamation work. This verification ensures that companies meet our reclamation standards. It also helps ensure that companies are not providing misleading or false information on their applications.
All reclamation certificate applications are assessed through OneStop using our reclamation certification assessment rules. Only sites that meet our reclamation standards and requirements will be issued a reclamation certificate. Please see our Reclamation Certificate Application Tool User Guide for more information.
See our Reclamation Process and Criteria for Oil and Gas Sites page for more information about our review and approval process.
Applying With Overlapping Exemptions
When another activity overlaps a portion of an energy site, the site may be considered for an overlapping exemption. Overlapping exemptions may be used in situations when there are two or more specified-land activities on an area of land.
We may consider granting an overlapping exemption when
- two operators share a portion of an access road;
- a pit or a mine goes through a well site;
- a re-entry well has a slightly different lease area; or
- well site leases overlap.
What to Submit
Applications for overlapping exemption must include an Application for Exemption from Requirement to Obtain a Reclamation Certificate Due to Presence of an Overlapping Activity form. For a list of application requirements, see this Alberta Environment and Parks document: Guide to Certification for Site Reductions, Additions, Overlaps, Multi-Well Facilities, and Forced Lease Boundary Changes.
- Private land – Companies must submit applications for overlapping exemption by email to RecRemQuestions@aer.ca. Please include “overlapping exemptions” in the subject line.
- Public land – Companies must submit applications for overlapping exemption through the Electronic Disposition System (account login and password required).