|A roundup of important new legislation, regulations, government announcements and court cases that we covered in the Environmental Compliance Insider in 2013.
LAW OF THE YEAR
The Responsible Energy Development Act took effect on June 17, 2013, creating the Alberta Energy Regulator, who’ll assume the regulatory functions of the Energy Resources Conservation Board, which will be dissolved, and the functions of the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development as to energy projects.
OTHER NOTABLE REGULATORY CHANGES
Oil & Gas
Changes to Directive 6 and Directive 11 (the Licensee Liability Rating program) to increase the amount of security required to be posted by operators of oil and gas wells, facilities and pipelines took effect May 1.
CASE OF THE YEAR
Oil Sands Company Penalized $100,000 for Lying about Water Use
An oil sands exploration company violated the terms of its water licence issued under the Water Act after a contracted employee provided false water-use information for several oil sands exploration projects. It pleaded guilty to one violation, was fined $9,312 and was ordered to pay $90,688 to support the Wetland Boreal Plant Revegetation Project [Grizzly Oil Sands ULC, Govt. News Release, April 9, 2013].
OTHER NOTABLE CASES
Fuel Company Fined $60,000 for Petroleum Transfer & Tank Violations
Under federal CEPA, a person can’t transfer petroleum products into storage tank systems on federally regulated land unless the systems display identification numbers issued by Environment Canada. An Alberta fuel company pleaded guilty to transferring petroleum products into tanks, failing to register such tanks with Environment Canada and failing to have tanks installed by a party approved to do so in Alberta. The court fined it $60,000 [Chinook Fuels Ltd., Govt. News Release, Oct. 24, 2013].
Release of PCB-Contaminated Oil Costs City $50,000
About 160 litres of PCB-contaminated oil was released from a metal drum located at a city electrical substation. The city pleaded guilty to one violation of CEPA. The court fined it $50,000 and ordered it to create policies to ensure proper PCB management, create and implement a training program for workers who handle PCBs, implement internal auditing to prevent future incidents and publish an article in a local newspaper about the incident [City of Red Deer, Govt. News Release, Jan. 14, 2013].
Company Owner Fined $20,000 for Providing False Environmental Information
An environmental company and its owner were charged with violating the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act by submitting reports to the government that contained false and misleading information. The owner was convicted and the charges against the company withdrawn. The court fined the owner $20,000, barred him from submitting any reports to Environment and Sustainable Resource Development under his company’s or any other entity’s permit for a year and required him to have an article about the situation run in the September issue of the Environmental Services Association of Alberta’s Weekly News publication [Brian Buoy, Govt. News Release, May 16, 2013].
Man Penalized $20,000 for Altering Shoreline Without an Approval
A man altered the shoreline of Gull Lake in violation of the Water Act by removing aquatic vegetation from the bed and shore without an approval in an attempt to improve the view from his property. The court fined him $5,000 and ordered him to pay $15,000 for a creative sentencing project to improve water quality in the lake [Dale Andrew Mather, Govt. News Release, March 12, 2013].
[button color=”#00a261″ link=”http://tinyurl.com/lxh58xp” target=”_same”]Next: British Columbia[/button]