Alberta Government Suspends Certain Reporting Requirements in Response to COVID-19

April 3, 2020

The Government of Alberta recently released an issued Ministerial Order, suspending certain reporting requirements under each of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the Water Act and the Public Lands Act. Stikeman Elliott has provided a general overview of the impending changes, available here.

Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Water Act and Public Lands Act

On March 30, 2020, under authority arising from its previous declaration of a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alberta Government issued Ministerial Order (MO 17/2020) suspending certain reporting requirements under each of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the Water Act and the Public Lands Act.

In issuing this order, Alberta Environment and Parks recognized the challenges industry in Alberta is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, namely the challenges related to collecting and consolidating information in order to be compliant with reporting requirements arising under various statutorily issued instruments.

Specifically, with the exception of drinking water facilities, all requirements to report information to the applicable regulators in accordance with provisions of any licenses, approvals or registrations issued under either of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act or the Water Act have been suspended.

Regarding certain requirements under the Public Lands Act, all disposition requirements to submit returns or reports are suspended. Notwithstanding the suspension to submission and reporting requirements, all approval, registration, license and disposition holders are required to continue to record and retain complete information relating any reporting or return requirements.

These records are to be made available to Alberta Environment and Parks or the Alberta Energy Regulator, as applicable, upon request.

The suspension of these reporting requirements will remain in effect until August 14, 2020; 60 days after the date upon which the declaration of public health emergency has been terminated; or when MO 17/2020 is terminated. MO 17/2020 is express that it does not apply to any drinking water facilities and that all drinking water facilities must continue to comply with applicable reporting requirements under the subject legislation.

Additionally, Alberta Environment and Parks has confirmed that all unauthorized substance releases that have the potential to cause adverse effects to the environment or human health must still be reported.

DISCLAIMER: This publication is intended to convey general information about legal issues and developments as of the indicated date. It does not constitute legal advice and must not be treated or relied on as such. Please read our full disclaimer at www.stikeman.com/legal-notice.

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