The first version of the Guide to Variance Justifications for Reclamation Certification of Wellsites and Associated Facilities (the draft guide) was published in late 2020 after undergoing an initial review by a small group of stakeholders including industry, practitioners, and decision-makers (Alberta Energy Regulator and Alberta Environment and Parks). In 2021, PTAC sought verification of the document from a larger audience and stakeholders were asked to apply the document to current sites in their work portfolio. This report summarizes the feedback received from stakeholders during a knowledge transfer session, field verification training webinar and working sessions.
A Knowledge Transfer webinar was held June 7, 2021, by PTAC with presentations by Dean MacKenzie, Vertex, and Bonnie Drozdowski, InnoTech Alberta. A training session was held June 17, 2021 to convey what was expected for field verification. Workshops with selected industry, practitioner and government stakeholders were held February 10, 2022 (35 industry/practitioner attendees) and February 16, 2022 (18 AEP and AER attendees), to solicit additional feedback.
It was anticipated that in 2021, practitioners and decision-makers would nominate sites for field verification, a subset of the nominated sites would be selected for field verification, variance requests would be prepared, and decision-makers would review and make a decision on the variance requests.
Twenty-nine sites were nominated for the field verification trial and practitioners tested the Guide on four of those sites; three had been previously approved and one had been submitted and was pending a decision. The draft report will be revised to incorporate the stakeholder feedback and the results of the field verification trial.
Overall, the Guide to Variance Justifications for Reclamation Certification of Wellsites and Associated Facilities should continue to be viewed as a living document that may require additional changes as more experience is gained by both practitioners and regulators.