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Rules and Directives

Conservation and Reclamation Submissions for Mineable Oil Sand Sites

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Release Date: Dec 18, 2018

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has issued specified enactment Direction for Conservation and Reclamation Submissions Under an Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act Approval for Mineable Oil Sands (SED 003), which has reduced nine conservation and reclamation submissions to three submissions so that approval holders no longer need to make multiple submissions.

The specified enactment direction also provides additional clarification to Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approval holders on how to meet the terms and conditions of their approvals for reclamation and conservation requirements. It does not define new requirements.

SED 003 includes direction for completing

  • life of mine closure plans,
  • mine reclamation plans, and
  • annual reclamation progress and tracking reports.

This consolidation and clarification of requirements will provide improved and consistent information to help the AER ensure that conservation and reclamation targets are being met throughout the lifecycle of a project to facilitate eventual return of the site to equivalent land capability. SED 003 has removed duplicative requirements with the consolidation of the submissions where information has already been provided to the AER through other regulatory processes.

Effective immediately, approval holders must fulfill the requirements outlined in SED 003 to comply with the EPEA approval terms and conditions, and the AER will assess conservation and reclamation submissions to confirm that approval holders are complying. Any compliance and enforcement actions will be informed by the AER’s compliance assurance program, which is guided by the AER’s Integrated Compliance Assurance Framework.

As a result of SED 003, conservation and reclamation aspects of Part 2: Renewals and Part 3: Amendments of the Guide to Content for Energy Project Applications under EPEA have been superseded for the life of mine closure plans. The overlapping guide to content application requirements will be met by submission of a life of mine closure plan in accordance with SED 003.

SED 003 has been issued under EPEA section 137, where the AER has authority to give direction about conservation and reclamation.

SED 003 is on the AER website, www.aer.ca. Printed copies can be purchased from AER Order Fulfillment, Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4; telephone: 403-297-8311 or 1-855-297-8311 (toll free; option 0); fax: 403-297-7040; email: InformationRequest@aer.ca.