And That’s the Year That Was
Five Things About the AER’s 2016/17 Annual Report
Like many corporate entities, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) gives a yearly account of its activities. Today we did just that, releasing our 2016/17 annual report.
Through stories, videos, graphics, and balance sheets, the AER’s annual report gives Albertans a clear line of sight into our work over the last year and how we did in meeting the targets set out in our strategic plan.
Here are five things to watch for in this year’s report:
- High performance. We developed an industry performance program and released details on how pipeline companies are performing. It’s also worth noting that the number of pipeline incidents continues to decline, dropping three per cent since 2015 and nearly 45 per cent over the last 10 years.
- Clearing the air. The AER worked with Alberta Health on a study into air quality and odour concerns near Fort McKay in northeast Alberta, and together they made 17 recommendations to improve conditions. We also released new requirements to control gas emissions from heavy oil and bitumen operations in the Peace River area.
- Because indigenous voices matter. We took steps to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We also worked with indigenous communities to ensure that traditional knowledge is reflected in our day-to-day process and decisions. This included working with indigenous elders on Voices of Understanding, a document about using indigenous oral decision making to improve interactions between the AER and indigenous people.
- Finding what’s in the flare. The AER launched a first-of-its-kind study of what substances are present during the “flowback” phase of hydraulic fracturing operations. The study looks at the composition and concentrations of the substances in the flowback stream, the properties of the flare during the flowback phase, and whether the substances pose a risk to human health and the environment.
- A penny saved becomes $1.9 billion earned. Last year the AER continued to create industry-verified cost savings through regulatory efficiency improvements. Since we started finding ways to make our requirements more efficient in April 2014, our efforts have brought the total savings to $1.9 billion without sacrificing public safety or environmental protection.