Contaminant management – Industrial and municipal guidance

Facilities must follow current operating requirements to protect soil and groundwater from contamination.


Alberta Environment and Protected Areas or the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) regulates industrial and municipal facilities. These facilities must follow operating requirements specified in an approval or code of practice. If there’s potential to release substances onto land, the operating requirements must include provisions for monitoring and managing soil contamination.

Industrial approvals

To learn how to prepare an industrial approval application, see:

Sulphur dust on soils

Directive for Monitoring the Impact of Sulphur Dust on Soils (2015)

The Directive specifies the regulatory requirements for monitoring and mitigating the impact of sulphur dust on soils near facilities that handle solid elemental sulphur. Professional guidance is also provided.

This 2015 Directive supersedes the:

  • earlier version of the Directive (AEW, 2011)
  • Soil Monitoring Guidelines in the department’s 1989 Air Monitoring Directive

The 2015 version of the Directive is in force for relevant Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approvals as follows:

  1. No change is required for approvals that reference the amended 2011 Directive as the updated Directive is effective January 1, 2016.
  2. Approvals that follow the 1989 Soil Monitoring Guidelines must be amended to reflect changes in monitoring and mitigation requirements. These requirements are outlined in the amended 2011 Directive.
  3. Before amending an approval, approval holders may voluntarily use the 2015 Directive if they clarify reporting requirements with the director. They must choose the updated Directive or remain with the 1989 Soil Monitoring Guidelines in their entirety. They cannot use both.

For more information, see:

Soil monitoring

The Soil Monitoring Directive (2009) must be used for monitoring and managing soil contamination at industrial facilities where such requirements are identified under an EPEA approval. The Directive provides regulatory requirements and professional guidance. For further information, see: Soil Monitoring Directive and fact sheet.

In line with Alberta's contaminated sites management framework, the Directive mandates the use of other regulatory tools, including:

Byproducts for soils

Guidelines for beneficial use of industrial and municipal byproducts for soils include: