Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) approvals cover all phases of an industrial operation:
These integrated approvals look at all environmental concerns, including:
- Decommissioning a facility
- Hazardous and solid wastes
- Industrial wastewater
- Sanitary sewage/waterworks
Codes of Practice are used to regulate less complex activities. The code is enforceable and specifies all relevant environmental requirements.
Approvals can be issued for up to 10 years. The approvals process allows for public input and has an appeal mechanism through the Environmental Appeals Board.
Approvals issued under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act incorporate:
- Environmental monitoring and reporting requirements, including emission inventory data
- Operational procedures and parameters required to minimize emissions
- Required pollution control equipment/technologies and allowable emission sources
- Source emission limits
- Stack design criteria based on plume dispersion modelling to ensure that air quality remains below ambient air quality objectives
Determining emission limits for a given facility depends on the existing air quality, ambient air quality objectives and emission standards. Also considered are local meteorology and terrain, and surrounding emission sources.
These emission standards can be based on the nature of the air contaminant and its potential health and environmental effects; the nature of the industrial process and the appropriate air pollution control technology.
The compliance inspection program helps ensure that facilities meet the requirements of their AEP approvals or registrations.
Department inspectors can review and inspect all aspects of any facility's approval or registration, in one visit. The focus is on identifying and correcting areas of non-compliance. Significant non-compliance can result in enforcement action.
To address infractions of environmental laws, the department can issue warning letters, tickets, enforcement orders, or administrative penalties. The department can also prosecute, request/enforce court orders and cancel an approval.
Generally, companies experiencing difficulties in meeting AEP approval requirements voluntarily take appropriate action to achieve compliance.