Environmental Regulations In The Face Of COVID-19
April 23, 2020
As we have mentioned in previous blogs, COVID-19 has forced Albertans, and all Canadians, to move through the world in a much different manner than we are accustomed to. We’d like to keep on with our theme of sharing how the province is functioning in the wake of the virus, this time looking at environmental regulations in Alberta.
Environmental Reporting Requirements
Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks has issued three Ministerial Orders relating to environmental reporting requirements. The most recent, dated March 30, 2020 addresses modifying various reporting requirements under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the Water Act, and the Public Lands Act, because of circumstances arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. All requirements relating to reporting information pursuant to the terms and conditions of approvals, registrations, licenses and dispositions during the public health emergency have been suspended as they relate to the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the Public Lands Act as well as the Water Act (with the exception of reporting related to drinking water facilities). This order will conclude on August 14, 2020, unless it is explicitly extended. The full report can be read here.
Extension on compliance reports
Another order, dated March 30, calls for an extension of a deadline to submit compliance reports related to Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Regulation under the Public Health Act. The deadline has been extended from March 31, 2020, to June 30, 2020. This order will also expire on August 14, 2020, unless extended.
Meanwhile, a similar extension was offered for fuel suppliers, approved contributors, and renewable fuel providers under the Renewable Fuels Standard Regulation under another order.
Yet another order, issued on April 6, 2020, suspends a wide range of reporting obligations falling under laws including the Coal Conservation Rules, Coal Conservation Act, the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules, and more. It is important to note that while reporting has been suspended, those responsible for providing reports must still retain the information that would be included in them for reporting at a later date.
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