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The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), through feedback from industry and its ongoing processes to improve regulation, has identified the need to clarify existing rules for temporary surface pipelines constructed of pipe materials such as lay-flat polyurethane hose, polypropylene hose, and aluminum irrigation pipe used to transfer water for energy resource development. These pipelines are not licensed under Directive 056: Energy Development Applications and Schedules.
These systems typically involve short-term use of portable pumps and various types of temporary hoses or piping to transport water from a water source to a temporary holding facility. Typical operational periods do not exceed 30 days; however, temporary surface water pipelines may, in certain circumstances, be permitted to operate for a term of up to one year, consistent with any related Water Act temporary diversion licence (TDL).
Temporary Surface Water Pipeline Operations
The AER does not require operators of temporary surface water pipelines to obtain a pipeline licence, as the structures and activities are temporary and water poses minimal hazards. These pipelines are exempted from licensing requirements under section 3(3) of the Pipeline Rules, provided the water meets criteria in section 3(3)(d). However, temporary surface water pipelines are still subject to applicable requirements under the Pipeline Act, Oil and Gas Conservation Act, Public Lands Act, and Water Act. Operators are reminded that the use of temporary surface water pipelines is subject to the following:
Temporary Surface Water Pipeline Authorizations
Operators are reminded that use of temporary surface water pipelines without a pipeline licence is subject to the following:
If an operator requires an exception to the requirements noted above, or if the operator cannot obtain landowner consent, then submission of a nonroutine pipeline and pipeline installation application to the AER is required. Such application must comply with requirements set out in Directive 056.
Temporary Public Lands Act Authorizations
A Public Lands Act (PLA) authorization is required for temporary water pipelines on public lands. Applicants can complete a PLA Temporary Field Authorization (TFA) form found on the AER website and e-mail the completed form to a local land use field centre.
The TFA form can be found at http://www.aer.ca/data-and-publications/aer-forms/pla-forms.
A list of field centres can be found at http://www.aer.ca/about-aer/contact-us/regional-maps-contacts.
Water Diversion Authorizations
A licence may be required under the Water Act before diverting nonsaline water for energy resource development. As well, if the water diversion will or may disturb a water body, then an authorization may be required for the disturbance. A TDL under the Water Act can have a term of up to one year.
The Water Act TDL Electronic Review System (WATERS) is used for submitting TDL applications online. Visit http://www.aer.ca/applications-and-notices/application-process/water-act for additional information, or access WATERS at this website: https://waters.aew.alberta.ca/.
When applying for a licence to divert water (temporary or otherwise) in association with a temporary surface water pipeline, you must include the submission form found in appendix 1 of this bulletin. The form must be submitted as an electronic, searchable attachment to the licence application. A fillable version of the form is also available on the “Forms” page on the AER website, www.aer.ca.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Directive 056 help line at 403-297-4369.
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Executive Vice President