A new code of practice for power lines impacting wetlands, which came into effect Dec. 23, maintains environmental protections and applies a more appropriate level of oversight for low-risk construction activities. This change will allow electricity providers to carry out important work on power lines without costly delays.

“Our government continues to take action on red tape reduction to make Alberta one of the freest and fastest-moving economies in the world. This code of practice supports Alberta’s electricity providers by reducing the administrative burden and project delay costs, while ensuring enforceable standards and conditions remain in place to protect our province’s wetlands.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

“Albertans expect us to ensure that we’re protecting the environment while we deliver reliable and affordable energy to their homes, farms and businesses. By streamlining this process, the code of practice for power lines impacting wetlands provides utilities with clarity on our environmental requirements and allows all of us to complete critical power line work in a shorter time frame.”

Ed Rihn, senior vice-president, AltaLink

“Ducks Unlimited Canada has a proud history of working collaboratively with numerous partners, including industry and government, in the development of pragmatic conservation solutions for working landscapes. DUC supports innovative tools like codes of practice that, when applied appropriately, achieve the goals of the Alberta Wetland Policy while maintaining Alberta’s economic prosperity.”

Ron Maher, manager of Provincial Operations, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Winter is the preferred construction season for Alberta’s electricity providers because they can minimize disturbance with wildlife and avoid difficult construction conditions due to wet or soft ground and expensive mitigation techniques.

The code of practice for power lines impacting wetlands was developed with input from affected operators and Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Red Tape Reduction Awareness Week

Alberta has declared Jan. 20-24 Red Tape Reduction Awareness Week. This coincides with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s own Red Tape Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of the costs of regulatory burdens to businesses across Canada. This year, the CFIB gave Alberta B-minus for its efforts to cut red tape, the highest grade the province has ever achieved.

Quick facts

Code of practice:

  • A code of practice regulates activities under the Water Act that would normally require an approval.
  • The code sets out the standards and conditions that must be met to ensure the activity minimizes the disturbance and impact on the environment.
  • The person or company planning to undertake an activity under the code provides notice along with their activity plans to Environment and Parks, rather than submitting an application and waiting for approval.
  • Enforcement of activities conducted under the code follows the same general process used for activities that require an approval.

Red tape reduction:

  • To date, CutRedTape.Alberta.ca has received more than 4,500 submissions.
  • Ministries are currently taking inventory and analyzing the regulatory burden imposed on Albertans and businesses, modernizing regulation requirements, processes, forms and policies, and eliminating those that are unnecessary.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates that in 2017, the cost for businesses in Alberta to comply with regulations was about $4.4 billion.