Frequently Asked Questions - Application Requirements

Currently to indicate compliance with Planning and Operational Measures (POM) an applicant needs to complete the following information in the stewardship tab:

Does the application adhere to the Environmental Protection and Management Guideline? YES/NO (defaults to NO)
If Yes, nothing further is required

If No, the mandatory mitigation strategy upload will prompt (this is where a rationale or mitigation strategy, if required, should be uploaded).

A second question will prompt you to confirm if an exemption requested from Part 3 of the Environmental Protection and Management Regulation.
This question defaults to NO and does not apply to Planning and Operational Measures.

In the near future AMS will be updating the wording in this section to specify adherence to Planning and Operational Measures.

Rationale Requirements
A rationale is a brief statement of reason, or a logical basis, to justify a course of action proposed by a proponent. A rationale is required when an application for an oil and gas activity is not consistent with the POMs provided by the Commission for a specific environmental value. Rationales must:

Be prepared by a Qualified Professional
Include an explanation of why the oil and gas activity cannot be planned to be consistent with the planning and operational measures provided by the Commission.
Provide a detailed description of the alternate measures planned for the activity and describe how desired outcomes specified in the planning and operational measures will be achieved.

Mitigation Strategy Requirements
A Mitigation Strategy is a formal document capturing a proponent’s commitment to mitigation and monitoring, including mitigation goals, mitigation actions and the specific measures that will be carried out. A mitigation strategy is required when a proposed activity is within 100 metres of water works and/or water supply well, in cases where the Commission has not defined POMs for the environmental value overlapped (impacted), or where the ABA Status is either enhanced management or regulatory policy. A Mitigation Strategy may also be required in specific circumstances at the discretion of a statutory decision maker. Mitigation Strategies must be prepared in accordance with Appendix B of the Environmental Protection and Management Guideline.

Appendix B of the EMPG provides minimal guidelines for Mitigation Strategy documents. 

In addition ABA Mitigation Plans should include:

  • An explanation of any efforts made to coordinate access and development with other industrial users with operations in the area.
  • A detailed rationale is required when the applicant does not demonstrate avoidance, use of existing disturbance or shared access.
  • A detailed account of any criteria that were considered to minimize the disturbance footprint in well site design, such as alignment to fit local topography, limited use of cut and fill, minimizing pad size, avoidance of sensitive areas and actions to reduce the number of trees harvested.
  • A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site specific measures employed to minimize disturbance to soil and vegetation including plans that minimize impact to the duff layer (such as limited stumping/grubbing, frozen ground access, use of rig matting, use of low ground pressure equipment and soil management for restoration).
  • A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site-specific measures employed to limit disturbance by the roadway, such narrowing the cleared width of the right of way and limiting ground disturbance for the running surface and ditch lines.
  • A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site-specific measures employed to limit disturbance by pipeline construction, such as use of trenchless technology and reduction of workspace requirements on either side of the crossing.
  • A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site-specific geophysical survey design elements used to minimize disturbance, such as avoidance, dead-ending at riparian zones, cutting restrictions limited to brush and understory, meandering avoidance, doglegs and mulch management.
  • A detailed explanation and/or a map of any site-specific remediation and/or prescriptions for restoration and recovery, including actions related to access control, spreading coarse woody debris, mounding, planting and/or seeding.
  • A detailed explanation of minimal disturbance strategies for activity in Riparian Reserve Zones. This should include an erosion risk assessment, sediment control, timing considerations, stability analysis, minimal tree felling (away from watercourse), re-establishing vegetation, contingency measures, and a post construction recovery and monitoring plan.
  • Rationale detailing operational need or relevant constraints to justify any exceedance of the documented expectations for well pad area.
  • A detailed account of any considerations that support the objectives of the area within which the activity is proposed
  • Any other information that may support the proposed development being permitted within the Old Forest or Riparian Reserve Zone as proposed.