The bill passed into law in three days last week. CP photo

Landowners and legal experts criticize Alberta’s well cleanup bill

Critics say bill still doesn’t give energy companies a timeline to clean up their mess

EDMONTON — Landowners and legal experts are criticizing Alberta’s hastily passed new legislation intended to help clean up the province’s huge stockpile of abandoned energy facilities.

The bill, which passed into law in three days last week, gives a group charged with cleaning up those sites new powers to take over and operate abandoned wells.

The Orphan Well Association will also be able order cleanup and reclamation of land around wells and pipelines.

But critics say it still doesn’t give energy companies a timeline to clean up their mess or ensure they have enough money to do the job — reasons why Alberta has thousands of unreclaimed sites to begin with.

As well, landowners with the Alberta Liabilities Disclosure Project say the Orphan Well Association will now be able to run wells without paying rent.

And they say workers now have more power to come on their property without getting permission.

Nigel Bankes, a law professor at the University of Calgary, says the bill was rammed through and passed in a high-handed manner.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Medical examiner: Floyd’s heart stopped while restrained

Medical examiner: Floyd’s heart stopped while restrained

More provinces moving to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions

More provinces moving to further loosen COVID-19 restrictions

WCPS, STAR Catholic raise busing fees

Both school divisions hike fees to compensate for budget changes

$2 raise for some health care workers in Alberta over a month late

Delay isn’t from Alberta Health, spokesperson confirms

Trudeau promises to speed $2.2 billion in funding for strapped cities

Trudeau promises to speed $2.2 billion in funding for strapped cities

Trudeau rejects Trump suggestion to readmit Russia to G7, citing Crimea invasion

Trudeau rejects Trump suggestion to readmit Russia to G7, citing Crimea invasion

Bird strike might have caused Snowbird crash, early investigation finds

Bird strike might have caused Snowbird crash, early investigation finds

‘Makes no sense:’ Woman can’t fathom why husband, uncle slain on hunting trip

‘Makes no sense:’ Woman can’t fathom why husband, uncle slain on hunting trip

Climate change behind increases in extreme rain danger: scientists

Climate change behind increases in extreme rain danger: scientists

Alberta introduces bill to create own parole board like Quebec, Ontario

Alberta introduces bill to create own parole board like Quebec, Ontario

Woman sentenced in toddler’s death says sorry to ‘every single person’ she hurt

Woman sentenced in toddler’s death says sorry to ‘every single person’ she hurt

‘Hate just hides’: Biden vows to take on systematic racism

‘Hate just hides’: Biden vows to take on systematic racism

Most Read