The Environmental Site Assessment Repository (ESAR) is an online, searchable database. It contains scientific and technical information about the province’s assessed and reclaimed sites.
Information available on ESAR
Environmental site assessments
Environmental site assessments (ESAs) are conducted to determine the quality of soil and groundwater. These are mostly done at retail gas stations and other commercial and industrial sites. If a site is being assessed, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is or ever was contaminated.
Results of these assessments can be found on ESAR.
Also on ESAR, reclamation certificates, applications and reports for the following can be found:
- upstream oil and gas well sites outside of April 2014 and June 2016
- gravel pits
- other specified lands on private land
For specific information about certificates for upstream oil and gas sites issued:
- between April 2014 and June 2016, contact the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) (see contact information below)
- after June 2016, see AER’s OneStop Reclamation Certification Public Map Viewer at: AER OneStop
Information available elsewhere
Reclamation certificates for activities on public lands are not available on ESAR.
To get this type of information, a search may be requested through Crown Land Data for a fee (see contact information below). The results will provide the reclamation certificate number for a reclaimed site on public lands.
Oil and gas contaminated sites information
After July 7, 2021, all oil and gas contaminated sites information will be submitted through the AER’s OneStop platform and will be available through the AppQuery Tool. Contaminated sites information includes all professional reports, correspondence and decisions that are received through the AER Record of Site Condition form.
Any oil and gas contaminated sites information that does not require an AER Record of Site Condition form upon submission will continue to be available through ESAR (for example, plans and proposals).
For information on incidents reported under the Release Reporting Regulation, contact the FOIP Records and Corporate Support office (see contact information below).
Additional information can also be viewed at: Reporting Spills and Releases.
The FOIP office can also be used for detailed file searches. Contact them if you’re certain a site assessment was done but you can’t find it on ESAR.
How to use ESAR
ESAR uses Alberta Registries Land Titles SPIN2 technology. You can search for a site using legal land description, municipal address or map. You can download, email and print relevant information you find.
Helpful ESAR tips
Below are some tips for using ESAR.
Image verification codes
You must enter the image verification code each time you download a document. This prevents bulk downloads of data.
Finding the environmental status
Some older ESA documents don’t clearly show a site’s environmental status. Newer documents will have a Record of Site Condition form. It is found in the list of file documents or within a Phase II report. This form will summarize the site’s environmental conditions.
If there is no Record of Site Condition form, contact the site operator.
Technical aspects of reports
You may have difficulty understanding the technical aspects of a site report. If this happens, hire a qualified environmental consultant for a summary. The Alberta government does not provide this service.
Finding house addresses
The database for municipal address searches is updated once a year. If you can’t find a valid house address, it may not be listed yet.
Map search function
You may encounter problems using the map search function. This could be due to any of the following 3 reasons:
- You don’t have the necessary plug-in. You need to install an Active-X plug-in to display the map when using Internet Explorer. You may need your company’s help desk to install it if you cannot do it yourself.
- You aren’t using Microsoft Internet Explorer. The ESAR map search function doesn’t work as consistently using other browsers. These include Mac Safari, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or mobile browsers. You do not need the Active-X plug-in on these browsers.
- You may not be searching during SPIN2 operating times. SPIN2 is available Monday through Friday 7 am to 9 pm, Saturdays 7 am to 6 pm and Sundays noon to 5 pm. You can use the map search function only during those hours.
Periods of inactivity
If you stop using ESAR for longer than 15 minutes, you must agree to the disclaimer again.
Back button usage
Do not use the back button to return to your previous search. Using it will open a new search.
Instead, click on the View Map icon (small globe) in Search Results. This will take you back to your previous map view.
Map Information icon
The Map Information icon must be activated during searches. When it is, clicking on the marker will take you to your document.
If it is activated and you still have trouble, hover your cursor over the marker letters.
Special site marker and property information
If you hover your cursor over a marker, you should see the Alberta government file number. Zoom out for better viewing. File numbers are 8 characters, as follows:
- all numbers for reclamation certificates and petroleum storage tanks
- 3 letters (SCD or CSU) and 5 numbers for other contaminated site files
If you hover your cursor over a property location, you see the following land titles information:
- LINC number (10 digits)
- Legal land location (Alberta Township System or plan, block or lot)
Multiple land titles
Sometimes you will see small green dots on the map. If you hover over them, the word “Multiple” appears. These represent multiple land titles associated with a property.
They can be row houses or condominiums (usually noted with a CDE and 7- or 8-digit number).
If there is no CDE number, the green dots don’t represent condominiums. Instead, they signify property with surface title and title to mineral rights.
The green dots aren’t interactive. They do not deliver ESA information. They appear on ESAR maps because they are embedded in the SPIN2 map layer.
Different types of searches
There are differences between searching for ESA and reclamation certification information.
When searching for ESA information:
- documents have integrated linkage with land titles data and mapping
- use Plan, Block, Lot (PBL) or ATS to search for documents
- the marker on the map is identified with a purple ESA circle
- the marker is centred within the land-title polygon
- the site name is within the Search Results section
When searching for reclamation information:
- documents are based on the ATS and must be searched using ATS co-ordinates
- the marker on the map is identified with a purple REC circle
- the marker is centred within the quarter section or legal subdivision
- the site name is within the Document Results section
For more help with using ESAR, see:
Help is also available via email (see contact information below).
Connect with the AER for information about reclamation certificates for upstream oil and gas sites between April 2014 and June 2016:
Connect with Crown Land Data to inquire on how to obtain an Electronic Transfer System (ETS) Surface Public Land Standing Search which provides the reclamation certificate number. If you already have an ETS Account, please proceed to ETS to perform the search.
Connect with FOIP Records and Corporate Support for information about spills and releases:
Connect with Technical Support for ESAR:
Email: [email protected]
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