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The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) requires operators to conserve and reclaim specified land. Reclamation certificates are issued when a site has been successfully reclaimed.
On private land, REO operators must maintain updated conservation and reclamation plans. Industry is required to provide landowners / occupants with copies of all conservation and reclamation information.
Find out more about the process at: Conservation and Reclamation Directive for Renewable Energy Operations.
- Land Policy Conservation and Reclamation factsheet (PDF, 308 KB)
Professional sign off
On private lands, operators of REOs require professional signoff for the development and updating of:
- conservation and reclamation plans
- required assessments
- the reclamation certificate application(s)
When an REO is no longer operational, the operator completes the necessary assessments and applies to the Alberta government for a reclamation certificate. Reclamation certificate applications include analyses and reports detailing how any contamination (if present) and surface reclamation issues were addressed.
Further information on requirements for professional sign off for reclamation certification can be found at:
After an REO has been decommissioned and reclaimed, it will be assessed.
Reclamation criteria is available for 4 land-use types:
- 2010 Reclamation Criteria for Well Sites and Associated Facilities for Cultivated Lands
Updated July 2013
- 2010 Reclamation Criteria for Well Sites and Associated Facilities for Forested Lands
Updated July 2013
- 2010 Reclamation Criteria for Well Sites and Associated Facilities for Native Grasslands
Updated July 2013
- Reclamation Criteria for Well Sites and Associated Facilities for Peatlands
Revised March 2017
The criteria allow for a flexible approach to simple-site assessment. But assessments will be more complex for difficult sites.
How the criteria have changed
The criteria, as updated in 2010, place greater emphasis on:
- assessing crop productivity on cultivated land
- re-establishing native ecosystems on forest, grassland and peatland sites
More about assessments
Assessment of an REO includes a reclamation inquiry that involves the:
- Alberta government
Following the issuance of a reclamation certificate, REOs have a 5-year liability period for surface reclamation issues (topography, vegetation, soil texture, drainage, etc.) and a lifetime liability for contamination. Complaints if substantiated within these timeframes may lead to enforcement actions that can include the cancellation of a reclamation certificate.
Some related guidelines about reclamation for REOs can be found at:
- Conservation Assessments in Native Grasslands and Conservation Assessment Forms
(XLSX, 50 KB)
Strategic siting and pre-disturbance site assessment methodology for industrial activities in native grasslands
- Management of Wood Chips on Public Land
- Principles, Guidelines, and Tools for all Industrial Activity in Native Grasslands in the Prairie and Parkland Landscapes of Alberta
Principles for minimizing surface disturbance
- Progressive Reclamation and Interim Clean-Up
- Revegetation Using Native Plant Materials – Guidelines for Industrial Development Sites
- Sites Reclaimed Using Natural Recovery Methods – Guidance on Site Assessment
- Winter Soil Evaluations
C&R IL 92-2
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