On Tuesday, the Alberta government announced it will reinstate environmental reporting that had been curtailed due to COVID-19 on July 15.
The move comes four weeks earlier than planned. Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks said “The temporary reporting relief provided through Environment and Parks allowed industry time to ensure the health and safety of staff and the communities in which they work.”
Nixon adds that because the public health emergency is no longer in effect in Alberta, “industry can resume business while keeping communities and employees safe.”
Along with the reinstatement of environmental reporting, Alberta Environment and Parks has also authorized a three-month extension to industry to submit regulatory reports for emissions reduction achievements and renewable fuel operator compliance. According to a press release issued by the Kenney government, these reports are due by June 30.
All documentation related to Water Act approvals and licences, reports for public land rentals, and reports related to Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act authorizations that were collected since the ministerial order was put in place must now be submitted.
Drinking water facilities were not affected by the order and were still required to submit reports during the pandemic.
As well, ministerial orders put in place by the Ministry of Energy are also being rescinded on July 15, earlier than anticipated.
“The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic required us to operate under an abundance of caution during the height of the health emergency,” said Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy.
She added “While this pause was of low risk, it is also important that we maintain full confidence in the rigour of our regulatory system and return to all regular reporting activities as soon as it is safe to do so.”