Appeal No. 99-161

Date of Discontinuance of Proceedings - February 23, 2000

 

IN THE MATTER OF Sections 84, 85, and 87 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 Ms. Connie Miljan on behalf of Talisman Energy Inc. with respect to the refusal of Mr. Doug Rawluk, Inspector, Environmental Service, Parkland Region, Alberta Environment, to issue a Reclamation Certificate to Talisman Energy Inc.

Cite as: Talisman Energy Inc. v. Inspector, Environmental Service, Parkland Region, Alberta Environment.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

BACKGROUND 1

MEDIATION MEETING/SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE 

2
DECISION  4

 

BACKGROUND

[1] On October 7, 1999, the Inspector, Environmental Service, Parkland Region, Alberta Environment (Department), wrote to Ms. Connie Miljan of Talisman Energy Inc. (Appellant). The Inspector advised that a Reclamation Certificate would not be issued to Talisman Energy Inc. due to deficiencies gathered at a Department inquiry of the site (SE 20-44-4-W4) held on September 28, 1999.

[2] On November 8, 1999, the Environmental Appeal Board (Board) received a facsimile of a Notice of Appeal dated October 31, 1999 from Ms. Connie Miljan on behalf of Talisman Energy Inc. appealing the October 7, 1999 decision of the Inspector, Environmental Service, Parkland Region, Alberta Environment.

[3] On November 8, 1999, the Board acknowledged receipt of the Notice of Appeal from the Appellant and, at that time, requested a copy of all correspondence, documents, and materials relative to the appeal from the Department.

[4] According to standard practice, on November 8, 1999, the Board wrote to the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (AEUB) asking whether this matter had been the subject of a hearing or review under their respective Boards' legislation. Replies were subsequently received from the NRCB on November 12, 1999 and the AEUB on November 17, 1999 stating that they did not hold any hearing or review under their respective legislation.

[5] On November 23, 1999, copies of the documents requested by the Board were provided by the Department and copies were forwarded to Ms. Connie Mijan in a letter dated November 25, 1999, and copied to the Department. In this same letter, the Board asked Talisman Energy Inc. if they wished to have a mediation meeting under section 11 of the Environmental Appeal Board Regulation(1) and if there were any other persons who may have an interest in the appeal. On the same date, the Board wrote to the Department asking for comments on participating in a mediation meeting an if they were aware of any other persons who may have an interest in the appeal.

[6] On December 13, 1999, after reviewing all responses received, the Board decided to conduct a mediation on January 18, 2000, at the Environmental Appeal Board office in Edmonton and provided the landowner, Ms. Blodwen Wilkinson, as well as Messrs. Ted and Martin Wilkinson with a copy of the letter. On January 10, 2000, however, the Board further advised that the mediation would be held at the Federal Court Building in Calgary instead as requested by the Appellant. A Notice of Mediation/Settlement Conference and Public Hearing advertisement was placed in the Wainwright Star Chronicle on December 22, 1999 and the Calgary Herald on December 22, 1999 and January 15, 2000.

THE MEDIATION MEETING/SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE

[7] At the mediation meeting/settlement conference on January 18, 2000, Dr. John Ogilvie attended as the presiding Board member.

[8] According to standard practice, the Board called the mediation meeting in an attempt to mediate or facilitate through a settlement conference the resolution of this appeal; or failing that, to structure procedural arrangements for the oral hearing. The Board invited representatives from each party to participate in the mediation meeting/settlement conference.

[9] In conducting the mediation meeting/settlement conference, Dr. Ogilvie reviewed the appeal and mediation process and explained the purpose of the mediation meeting/settlement conference. Dr. Ogilvie then circulated copies of the "Participants' Agreement to Mediate" in which all participants signed except Mr. Martin Wilkinson who agreed via telephone on the same day.

[10] Following productive and detailed discussions, a resolution evolved at the mediation meeting/settlement conference.

[11] As discussed at the meeting, the Board forwarded a letter on January 18, 2000, advising the parties that the Department would provide a status report to the Board by January 26, 2000.

[12] On January 26, 2000, the Department wrote to Talisman Energy Inc. and copied the Board stating:

"Further to our discussion and meeting in Calgary on 18 January 2000, I am advised the Mr. Relace received the further information from Talisman on 26 January 2000. He will review that information on a priority basis and expects to be able to provide you a decision by Friday 28 January 2000."

[13] The Board received a letter of January 28, 2000 from the Department stating:

"...Mr. Rawluk has reconsidered his decision and will now issue a reclamation certificate.... This should resolve the current appeal."

Attached to the January 28, 2000 letter from the Department, was a letter of the same date from the Department to Ms. Miljan stating:

"As discussed at the Mediation Hearing of January 18, 2000, Talisman has provided our office with previously unavailable information to back their argument that this site should be certified.

Upon review of the data, a reconsideration of appropriate control areas as well as a site visit, I am now prepared to certify the site...."

[14] The Board received a letter on February 23, 2000 dated February 22, 2000 from Talisman Energy Inc. stating:

"Talisman Energy Inc. is withdrawing their appeal, EA. 99-161, as the conditions of the mediation hearing have been met and Alberta Environmental Protection has certified the wellsite in question."

 

DECISION

[15] Pursuant to Section 87(7) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, and based on the February 22, 2000 letter from Talisman Energy Inc., the Board hereby discontinues its proceedings in Appeal No. 99-161 and will be closing its file. The Board thanks all the parties for their willingness to participate in settlement discussions.

Dated February 23, 2000 at Edmonton, Alberta.

Dr. William A. Tilleman, Q.C.


FOOTNOTES

1. AR 114/93

 

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