Reclamation pilot programs

Alberta Environment and Protected Areas is initiating two pilot projects to improve reclamation certificate issuance.


Alberta Environment and Protected Areas (EPA) is working with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to implement 2 pilot Interim Directives that support the reclamation certification process:

  • Pilot for site reductions on well sites.
  • Pilot for reclaiming peatlands.

These pilots seek to improve the process of issuing reclamation certificates to eligible industrial operators without compromising provincial regulatory standards for reclamation certificates.

Pilot for site reductions on well sites

This pilot enables the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to issue a reclamation certificate to eligible operators, certifying that the portion of a well site on private land meets government reclamation standards.

Key dates

The AER will accept up to 100 applications and will last 18 months in total. See the Interim Directive for details about the pilot.


Landowners do not need to participate if they do not wish to. Landowners must be notified in writing of the pilot, including a copy of the factsheet and the Interim Directive.

There are 2 requirements if landowners decide to participate:

  • Written proof of landowner’s acceptance must be acquired.
  • Proof of landowner consent must be provided when an operator applies for a reclamation certificate.

Well site reductions

The well site area may be reduced up to 60% of the original surface lease, if the area of the new well site is large enough to allow for:

  • A minimum 20 metre setback from any edge of the new lease boundary to the well head;
  • Well servicing, abandonment, and decommissioning activities to be completed within this reduced area with no additional temporary workspace required; and
  • Applicable safety requirements are met at all times, for example, Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response; Occupational Health and Safety.

The Interim Directive states, the Pilot for Site Reductions on Well Sites does not change the AER’s minimum spacing or safety requirements. Operators that would like to apply for a site reduction must meet all the applicable safety requirements, including those related to well servicing, abandonment and decommissioning.

Key documents


Any comments, or questions regarding the content of this document may be directed to: 

Pilot for reclaiming peatlands

This pilot streamlines decision processes under the AER, while ensuring public lands continue to be managed with clear reclamation and restoration outcomes in mind.

A decision framework and support tools are being piloted to support the AER in considering requests to change land use from peatlands to forest lands, for eligible well sites and access roads on public lands.

Key dates

This pilot will run for 18 months total. See the Interim Directive for more details about the pilot.

Key documents


Comments or questions regarding the content of this document may be directed to: