AER seeks feed­back for man­ag­ing tail­ings in Al­berta

The McLeod River Post - - The Patch -

The Al­berta Energy Reg­u­la­tor (AER) is seek­ing public feed­back on its draft di­rec­tive on fluid tail­ings man­age­ment for oil sands min­ing projects.

As the province’s energy reg­u­la­tor, the AER en­sures that oil sands de­vel­op­ment aligns with gov­ern­ment pol­icy. Fol­low­ing the re­lease of the Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta’s Lower Athabasca Re­gion: Tail­ings Man­age­ment Frame­work for Mine­able Athabasca Oil Sands (TMF), the AER has de­vel­oped new re­quire­ments for tail­ings man­age­ment.

“The draft di­rec­tive rep­re­sents an evo­lu­tion in how we will man­age tail­ings by ad­dress­ing both ex­ist­ing fluid tail­ings and new fluid tail­ings growth” said Cal Hill, AER ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of the Strat­egy and Reg­u­la­tory Di­vi­sion. “It es­tab­lishes the re­quire­ments op­er­a­tors must meet in or­der to en­sure that all fluid tail­ings are ready to re­claim within 10 years of the end of a mine’s life.”

The draft di­rec­tive es­tab­lishes the re­quire­ments op­er­a­tors must meet, in­clud­ing ap­pli­ca­tion re­quire­ments, re­view and ap­proval process re­quire­ments, and per­for­mance re­port­ing re­quire­ments for fluid tail­ings vol­ume pro­files and tail­ings man­age­ment plans as part of a phased ap­proach to im­ple­ment­ing the TMF. More de­tails about sur­veil­lance re­quire­ments and en­force­ment mea­sures will be in­cluded in the 2016 edi­tion of the di­rec­tive.

The AER will set pro­ject­spe­cific thresh­olds based on in­for­ma­tion sub­mit­ted in the tail­ings man­age­ment ap­pli­ca­tions. Op­er­a­tors must re­port their fluid tail­ings vol­umes an­nu­ally. The AER will take ap­pro­pri­ate com­pli­ance and en­force­ment ac­tion if op­er­a­tors are ex­ceed­ing thresh­olds.

The AER is en­gag­ing with oil sands op­er­a­tors, abo­rig­i­nal groups, en­vi­ron­men­tal non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions, af­fected mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, and mul­ti­stake­holder com­mu­nity groups as it seeks feed­back on the draft di­rec­tive.

In March 2015, the AER sus­pended Di­rec­tive 074: Tail­ings Per­for­mance Cri­te­ria and Re­quire­ments for Oil Sands Min­ing Schemes while the new re­quire­ments were be­ing de­vel­oped. The AER ex­pects that oil sands mine op­er­a­tors will con­tinue to proac­tively man­age fluid tail­ings vol­umes while we fi­nal­ize the new di­rec­tive. Op­er­a­tors are also ex­pected to fol­low all other reg­u­la­tory and leg­isla­tive re­quire­ments re­lat­ing to oil sands min­ing tail­ings man­age­ment.

The draft di­rec­tive is avail­able on the AER web­site, and the AER re­cently launched talk.aer. ca tail­ings land­ing page to al­low ev­ery­one to learn about the history of tail­ings, ac­cess the draft di­rec­tive, and share their feed­back.

The AER is ac­cept­ing feed­back un­til Novem­ber 17, 2015.

The AER en­sures the safe, ef­fi­cient, or­derly, and en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble de­vel­op­ment of hy­dro­car­bon re­sources over their en­tire life cy­cle. This in­cludes al­lo­cat­ing and con­serv­ing wa­ter re­sources, man­ag­ing public lands, and pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment while pro­vid­ing eco­nomic ben­e­fits for all Al­ber­tans.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.