Appeal No. 95-004

May 17, 1995


IN THE MATTER OF Sections 84, 86, 87, 91 and 92 of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, (S.A. 1992, ch. E-13.3 as amended);

-and-

IN THE MATTER OF
an appeal filed by Ove Aasen with respect to the reclamation certificate issued by the Inspector, Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection to Renaissance Energy Ltd.

Cite as: Ove Aasen v. Inspector, Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection.

PRE-HEARING MEETING BEFORE:
David H. Marko, Vice-chair

APPEARANCES:
Appellant: Ove Aasen
Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection, represented by Doug Rawluk and William McDonald, Esq.

Renaissance Energy Ltd., represented by Ian Proctor and John Winton

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On January 19, 1995, Ove Aasen (the "Appellant") filed a notice of objection with the Board regarding Reclamation Certificate No. 32034 (the "Certificate") which was issued to Renaissance Energy Ltd. ("Renaissance") in relation to a well site located at NW 20-38-3-W4M. The Certificate was issued on September 23, 1994 by Doug Rawluk, Conservation and Reclamation Inspector, Land Reclamation Division, Alberta Environmental Protection (the "A.E.P. Inspector") and Calvin Symington, Local Conservation and Reclamation Inspector. The Appellant was concerned that "there is a load of pit run gravel about 6 to 8 inches under the top soil."

The Board notified the Director of Land Reclamation, Alberta Environmental Protection (the "Director") that the appeal had been filed and requested a copy of the Certificate as well as the application for it. Also on January 23, 1995, Renaissance was advised that the appeal had been filed.

Following receipt of the Certificate and the application from William McDonald of Alberta Justice, on behalf of the Land Reclamation Division, the Board wrote to all parties on March 1, 1995 seeking further information with respect to the Appellant's concern.

The Board reviewed the replies that were received from the parties and, on April 18, 1995 with the consent of all parties, made a determination to proceed directly to a pre-hearing meeting on this appeal.

THE PRE-HEARING MEETING

The pre-hearing meeting, which was held on May 12, 1995 in Provost, was called by the Board for the purpose of attempting to facilitate the resolution of this appeal or, failing that, to make arrangements for the oral hearing by determining all matters set out in s. 13 of the Environmental Appeal Board Regulation.(1) The Board invited two representatives from each party to participate in this pre-hearing meeting, and the attendance at this meeting was as follows:

The parties at the meeting affirmed their right to represent and bind their organizations. They also confirmed having received all relevant documents. David Marko outlined the history of this appeal and the procedures for the pre-hearing meeting. The pre-hearing was identified as a quasi-judicial meeting, based on a statutory delegation of authority under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act ("the Act"). The alternatives available to the parties were: 1) the resolution of the appeal; 2) the withdrawal of the appeal by the Appellant, and 3) the conduct of a hearing as defined by the Act.

All parties agreed that there was a load of gravel buried on the site and that this was undesirable. The issue was what to do about the gravel. All parties then agreed that stripping and screening out the gravel would cause damage to the land. No one was certain that the gravel would not migrate to the surface at some time in the future due to frost heaving or normal agricultural practices. It was then agreed that if all of the gravel migrated to the surface during the next five years, it would take no more than one person with a tractor and a bucket one day per year, a total of five days, to remove all of the gravel. Renaissance expressed a willingness to come to the site at any time to remove the gravel, but the Appellant felt that this would not be necessary.

After a thorough discussion of the issue, the Appellant accepted Renaissance's regrets for what had taken place, and everyone agreed that nothing more could be done to better reclaim the site.

The Appellant then withdrew his appeal.

RECOMMENDATIONS

In light of the specific resolution of this appeal, the Board proposes to discontinue its proceedings with respect to the notice of objection filed by the Appellant.

The Board recommends that no action be taken by the Minister in relation to the Certificate that was issued.

The Board further recommends that it undertake the distribution of this Report and Recommendations to all parties of record.

Signed and Dated May 17, 1995, at Edmonton, Alberta.

David H. Marko, Vice-chair



Footnotes

1. Alberta Regulation 114/93



ORDER

I, Ty Lund, Minister of Environmental Protection, agree with the Recommendations of the Environmental Appeal Board.

Dated at Edmonton this 24th day of May, 1995.

Signed, Honourable Ty Lund

Minister of Environmental Protection

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