Guidelines for pipelines

Policies and regulations for conservation and reclamation of land disturbed for pipelines.


Pipelines collect, transmit and distribute a variety of liquids and gases in Alberta. Pipeline operators must conserve and reclaim the areas disturbed by pipeline activity.

Specified areas must be returned to equivalent land capability. This means that land can be used for a similar range of activities as before it was disturbed. Pipeline construction can cause significant linear disturbance. Careful planning is crucial to minimize environmental impact and enhance reclamation success.

The Alberta government administers the non-energy activities of pipeline operations throughout their life cycle. This includes conservation, construction, operation and reclamation.

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) administers pipelines used in upstream oil and gas, coal and oil sands. To learn more about the role of the AER, see: Alberta Energy Regulator.

Reclamation criteria

The Alberta government uses criteria to assess whether land disturbed for pipelines is reclaimed to equivalent land capability. Outcomes are assessed against the criteria used for access roads in Alberta’s upstream oil and gas facilities.

Reclamation criteria are available for the following 4 categories:

Additional guidance

Technical resources