Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) staff across the province continue to provide around the clock support during this difficult time in the Fort McMurray area. AER staff are monitoring the situation and are working closely with the Government of Alberta, operators, and local, provincial and federal authorities in a coordinated response to the wildfires.
- The AER is committed to protecting the public and the environment, and it monitors and responds to energy-related incidents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- AER has effective processes and strong regulations in place that, when followed, ensure that AER-regulated development is conducted safely.
- The AER has not received any reports of damage to energy facilities at this time.
- The AER requires operators to have emergency response plans in place during this time. See Directive 071 for details.
- Operators have AER approval to build berms and walls to protect their facilities.
- The AER is requesting that operators provide any resources at their disposal to respond to the wildfire, including fuel, firefighters, shelter, and air support.
- The AER Fort McMurray Regional Office has been evacuated; all calls are being rerouted to the AER’s Bonnyville Field Centre.
- AER staff are working closely with operators as the focus shifts from emergency response to recovery.
- The AER will support a safe, orderly, efficient and environmentally responsible resumption of business.
- The AER has requirements in place that pertain to shut down and start-up procedures of facilities in this area. These procedures occur regularly as part of operational maintenance cycles and for other reasons; the AER’s role is to ensure that regulatory requirements are met at all times.
- Every oil sands operation restart requires specific procedures to be performed by each individual operator; the AER continues to work with industry to support their restart plans.
- AER staff are in the Fort McMurray area to ensure restart operations follow all requirements that protect public safety and the environment.
- Based on the current wildfire situation in the Fort McMurray area, the AER is suspending the processing of applications with a 30-day notice period in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to ensure that stakeholders have time to submit statements of concern.