Reclamation

Reclamation of Specified Land
Reclamation certificates are required for all specified land as directed by the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

Specified land, as defined in the Conservation and Reclamation Regulations, is land that is being or has been used or held in connection with any of the following activities that the AER regulates:

  • wells, industrial pipelines, and batteries (upstream oil and gas activities)
  • oil production sites
  • coal and oil sands exploration
  • plant sites
  • roadways
  • borrow operations
  • oil sands or coal mines
  • in situ oil sands mines 

Security for Land Reclamation Performance
Reclamation security is required under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) and the Conservation and Reclamation Regulation.

Security funds are collected from operators who hold an EPEA approval under the Activities Designation Regulation, unless exempted in the Conservation and Reclamation Regulation.

Security must be provided before any new approval is issued. When an approval is amended or a change to the amount of security is required, security must be provided within 30 days of a request by the director (i.e., the AER).

The amount of security must cover the cost of reclamation in case the operator is unable to complete reclamation on the site. Security can be submitted in cash, bonds, or letters of credit. Interest on security submitted as cash is paid to the operator.

Security is returned to the operator when the site is reclaimed and a reclamation certificate is issued. Part of the security may be returned when part of the site is reclaimed and the remaining security is sufficient to complete the outstanding reclamation.

Security will be forfeited if an operator fails to meet reclamationreclamation obligations, in which case, the AER uses the funds to reclaim the site. If these funds are insufficient to cover the cost of reclamation, the AER can complete the reclamation work and collect the additional money from the operator.

More information can be found in the Environmental Protection Security Fund: Annual Report (April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012).