Estimated cost of weed control on neglected oil and gas well sites by municipalities needed by January 11, 2023

Resolution 1-21,

In response to a request made by Minister Horner to the ASB Provincial Committee at their meeting on November 30, 2022, an email was sent to all ASBs asking for estimated costs associated with inspecting, monitoring and controlling weeds on neglected well sites. The deadline to submit costs through the attached survey link has been extended to January 11, 2023. The email was sent on December 16 through the AAAF email list.

In 2021 the ASBPC with delegates from various ASBs, RMA, the Alberta Energy Regulator, the Farmers Advocate office (FAO), and Alberta Energy participated in 3 working group discussions that clarified where the gaps in the regulation were causing contention. The matter was left with Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation (AGI) staff working under ADM John Conrad to work with AER. AGI staff and the FAO have since developed a series of options that include potential program adaptations and some possible legislative changes. These have been shared with AER.

With the election looming the Minister feels there is little chance that legislative or regulatory changes would happen any time soon. He suggested that the way forward would be to revisit this issue in the summer after the election and hopefully get it onto the legislative agenda. In the meantime the Minister and staff have asked for help to determine the estimated costs borne by municipalities inspecting, monitoring and controlling weeds on neglected sites in 2021 and 2022. Understanding the extent of the issue will go a long way for developing a response that meets the needs of landowners and municipalities.

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