Upstream Oil and Gas Reclamation and Remediation Program – FAQ

What is the point of this program?

To ensure that upstream well sites are returned to a productive state.

What is meant exactly by upstream oil and gas?

Upstream oil and gas refers to the point where raw product is being collected, including wells, pipelines, satellites and batteries.

How does Alberta Environment and Parks ensure that sites are reclaimed properly?

Operators have to clearly demonstrate that contamination has been addressed. The department audits a certain percentage of sites that receive reclamation certificates.

How was the program developed?

The department consulted with landowners, industry and other affected stakeholders to identify how the existing program could be improved. This is part of the department's commitment to ongoing improvement.

Who prepares the information and does the sampling required by the reclamation application?

Oil and gas companies typically hire qualified environmental consultants to reclaim a site, complete its assessment and conduct any necessary sampling.

How can landowners get reclamation information about their property?

The department requires oil and gas operators to share with landowners all materials submitted as part of their reclamation certificate application.

What happens if a company or a consultant submits an incomplete application?

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. The department has various enforcement options for holding a company accountable for the accuracy of its reports.

Will Alberta Environment and Parks investigate, if there are concerns about the status of a site?

Complaints will be fully investigated and if substantiated could result in cancellation of a reclamation certificate.

Who is responsible for land issues after a reclamation certificate is issued?

Under the program's rules, industry is liable for the first 25 years for surface reclamation issues involving topography, vegetation, soil texture or drainage. Liability reverts to the Alberta government after this 25-year period.

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Updated: Jan 26, 2018