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Environment Safety & Enforcement

Keeping a Lid on It

Caprock is key to ensuring fluids remain underground

If you were to look at a cross section of the subsurface geology, it might resemble a multi-layered cake. But instead of icing and chocolate, you’d find mudstone, silt, and sand layers—sand layers… Read more

Seeking the Sound of Silence

AER requirements keep energy industry noise in check

If you’re in the noise business, what do you value most in your free time? Quiet. “Overall I’m a sensitive guy, and I work on noise,” Jason Cao says with a smile. “When I’m not working, I really want… Read more

A 360-Degree Perspective

“Super inspection” puts Alberta’s energy facilities to the test

It’s not “business as usual” to see 34 coverall-clad inspectors crawling over one energy site in less than a week, but it soon will be. Earlier this year, staff from three branches of the Alberta… Read more

Blast from the Past: Atlantic No. 3

This week 68 years ago, Alberta’s biggest blowout gasped its final bre…

Almost seven decades ago, a drilling rig towering high over an empty field ignited more than just the ground it stood on.

Pouring over the Spill

AER investigators will probe causes of the Fox Creek pipeline release

Like all Albertans, word of a pipeline spill creates concern about the protection of safety and the environment. For AER employees it means moving quickly the minute the call comes in. So earlier… Read more

Laying Down the Law in the Oilpatch

Prosecution is one option when companies skirt the AER’s rules

With over 174 000 operating wells, 431 000 kilometres of pipeline, 9 oil sands mines, more than 50 in situ oil sands sites, and over 50 000 oil and gas facilities, policing Alberta’s energy industry… Read more

After the Guilty Plea

Alberta court sentences Apache for incidents

We've all watched enough movies to know that the guilty plea is often the beginning of the story. What comes after—the judge’s decision—is where people’s interest can really peak. This week, an… Read more

Big or Small, We Inspect Them All

The AER ensures dams used in oil sands and coal development are safe

They can be as small as a swimming pool or as big as a lake. Regardless, it’s up to the AER to make sure the structures that contain them are sound. Most of the dams in the AER’s jurisdiction hold… Read more

Alberta Takes Action on Odour, Air Quality Concern…

New study makes 17 recommendations to address concerns

For years, Fort McKay First Nation has voiced concerns about air quality and odours from oil sands operations and questioned whether current monitoring, response protocols, and thresholds are… Read more

Paying the Price

Energy companies can face financial penalties when things go wrong

When companies don’t follow the AER’s rules, they face enforcement. Our enforcement tools can include shutting in operations, more frequent and detailed inspections, more stringent planning… Read more