British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Resource development and regulatory change in Alberta : where are we going? Lloyd, David A. 2002

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Proceedings of the 26th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Dawson Creek, BC, 2002. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND REGULATORY CHANGE IN ALBERTA: WHERE ARE WE GOING? David A. Lloyd Senior Advisor, Business Renewal Regulatory Review, Strategic Directions, Alberta Environment Alberta's natural resources are used for a variety of purposes including petroleum and natural gas production, forestry and outdoor recreation. The Government of Alberta is firmly committed to ensuring that resource development takes place in a sustainable way and benefits all Albertans. Our regulatory framework is vital to the efficient and effective development of our province's natural resources and enables us to maintain and enhance our high level of environmental protection without hindering the investments that contribute to the prosperity of the province. Alberta's resource development regulatory regime is comprised of acts, regulations, policy, standards and operating guidelines. Together, they govern the roles and responsibilities of those who own, use or manage natural resources in Alberta. WHY IS REGULATORY REVIEW NECESSARY? To date, regulatory review and streamlining efforts have been focused at the individual ministry level. Now, Alberta needs to build on that work by integrating the natural resources regulatory regime across the ministries of the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Resource Development departments. Alberta wants to see visible performance improvements in the management of our air, water, timber, oil, gas, coal mineral and public land. The kind of improvements in the way we work with both the public and industry that will help maintain Alberta as the top place to live, work and do business in Canada. 118 Proceedings of the 26th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Dawson Creek, BC, 2002. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation WHAT DOES THE REVIEW ENCOMPASS? This review is about identifying opportunities for improvements that will help to make the regulatory and administrative process less complex, more transparent and more effective. Alberta will be looking at the delivery of resource development in the energy (oil, natural gas, coal and electricity generation), timber, mineral, sand and gravel and petrochemical sectors. The regulatory regime spans and governs the entire spectrum of interests ranging from project application through development, operation and abandonment and reclamation. Monitoring, inspection and enforcement functions as well as the appeals and adjudication processes will also be evaluated. WHO IS GUIDING THE REVIEW? The review is a cross-ministry initiative made up of a team from Alberta Energy, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and the ministries of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. The department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development is assisting with the review. A working team is reviewing the existing regime for regulating resource development and will report recommendations for improvement and change to the ministers responsible for the above departments. WHO WILL HAVE INPUT? An integrated approach to resource development and environmental protection requires the involvement of individuals, communities, interest groups, industry and government. Accordingly, Alberta will use a consultative approach with interested and affected stakeholders that will lead to the development of advice and recommendations regarding changes to existing environment, energy and resource regulatory processes. WHAT BENEFIT WILL BE ACHIEVED? The resource development regulatory review is not about increasing or reducing standards. It is about making the regulatory processes less complex and more timely for all participants. The cross government initiative will help towards achieving a common framework for the development of Alberta's natural resources that is understandable, fair, inclusive and accountable. 119 Proceedings of the 26th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Dawson Creek, BC, 2002. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation Enhancing the way Alberta government works with both the public and industry is aimed at ensuring that the province continues to deliver Alberta's Commitment to Sustainable Resource and Environmental Management. Alberta wants to ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are met without duplication, overlap unnecessary steps and unwarranted costs. The process is still evolving and changing over time, and the end product is yet to be determined. 120


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