Alberta Becomes the First Province to Modify Environmental Reporting Due to COVID-19

Alberta's Environment Minister passed several orders modifying environmental reporting requirements related to industrial activities. The orders were passed in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and are in response to an OIC passed under the Alberta Public Health Act (APHA). OIC 080/2020 declared a state of public health emergency in the province.

The Orders

Ministerial Order 15/2020

Requirements referenced in the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Regulation. Deadlines to submit compliance and emissions reduction plan reports are extended to June 30, 2020.

Ministerial Order 16/2020

Requirements referenced in the Alberta’s Renewable Fuels Standard Regulation. Fuel suppliers, approved contributors, and renewable fuel providers must submit reports for the 2019 compliance period by June 30, 2020.

Ministerial Order 17/2020

Requirements referenced in the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (AEPEA), Public Lands Act (PLA), and Alberta Water Act (AWA). All requirements to report information relating to approvals or registration under the AEPEA and all requirements to report information pertaining to licences or approvals under the AWA have been suspended. However, these suspensions do not apply to drinking water facilities. The order also applies to disposition requirements to submit returns or report under the PLA.

All approval, registration, licence, and disposition holders (Record Holders) must continue to record and retain complete information and be prepared to submit those records to Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) or the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) upon request.

When Do These Orders Expire?

Unless they are continued under provisions of the APHA, the orders are effective until the earliest of:

a. August 14, 2020;

b. 60 days after OIC 080/2020 is terminated by the lieutenant governor in council (provided OIC 080/2020 is terminated before June 15, 2020); or

c. the Orders are terminated by the minister or the lieutenant governor in council.

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