| ||One of the roles of the Farmers’ Advocate Office is to respond to landowner inquiries around well site reclamation issues.
“As an example, an interesting situation concerning well site reclamation was recently brought to our attention,” says Jeana Les, research and communications specialist at the Farmers’ Advocate Office. “Reclamation certificates are issued once a company has met its legislated reclamation obligations at the end of the life of development. In this case, the reclamation certificate was issued in 2011 and, after an audit on the site in 2012, the certificate was cancelled.”
The company and landowner went through the mediation program at the Environmental Appeals Board and a resolution agreement was signed with terms and conditions for both parties to follow.
“The conflict came up in 2015 when the new reclamation certificate was issued,” says Les. “The company didn’t believe that they were obligated to pay the surface lease rental from 2012-15, stating that their rights and obligations ceased with the issuance of a reclamation certificate in 2011.”
The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act states that a cancelled certificate is considered to have never been issued. “In this case, it was determined that the company was responsible for the three years of rental payments because the 2011 reclamation certificate was considered non-existent.”
Landowners with similar issues or other questions about reclamation may call the FAO at 310-FARM (3276) for more information.
This article is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.