The Commission has the authority to regulate and inspect freshwater storage structures used in the oil and gas industry that qualify as dams under the Dam Safety Regulation (DSR).
The DSR came into force in 2016, establishing the standards to which these dams must be in compliance in order to remain safe to the public and the environment. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) establishes the construction and operational standards by which these water storage sites are built, and permission to store water may be granted by way of the Water Sustainability Act. Industry Bulletin 2016-26 provides definitions of the various categories of dams and sources of stored water.
The Commission employs dam safety officers and engineers who ensure proper oversight of the structures, identifying any instances of non-compliance and issuing enforcement orders as required to correct deficiencies. Follow-up inspections are conducted by the safety officers to confirm compliance, and orders and contravention determinations are posted on the Commission website.
The map below shows the approximate location of dam structures in northeast B.C. built, operated and maintained by oil and gas permit holders, and regulated by the Commission.