AER: Pick & Choose Regulator when Positive Image Needed in the Press? Regulate a few infractions to impress the Supreme Court of Canada? CNRL appealing $8,000 penalty for unauthorized temporary pond construction

One of the comments:

Andrew Sparky
$8000? Whats that equal 1 second of profit?

CNRL appealing $8,000 penalty for unauthorized Alberta oilsands construction by Gordon Kent, April 12, 2016, Edmonton Journal
Published on: April 12, 2016 | Last Updated: April 12, 2016 1:19 PM MDT

A major oilsands company is appealing $8,000 in fines imposed by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for building a temporary pond at its operation without approval.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. built the sedimentation pond at the Horizon plant north of Fort McMurray in May and June 2013 to capture soil that washes off during rain storms and protect nearby waterbodies, according to the regulator.

The pond is 3,700 square metres, or roughly one-third the size of a football field.

But in a decision last Dec. 10, AER enforcement and surveillance director Rob Borth determined the structure had been constructed without the necessary approval from Alberta Environment and Parks.

One contributing factor was that CNRL lacked adequate procedures and knowledge of legislative requirements, even though it has extensive knowledge and experience with the application process, Borth wrote.

The company was told by email in May 2013 that an approval amendment was needed, but work on the pond, which had started about a week earlier, carried on, he wrote.

“CNRL had the opportunity to stop the construction once being made aware of this legislative requirement, but construction continued without first obtaining an approval amendment.”

Borth disagreed with the Calgary-based energy firm’s contention that the lay-down area was included in a March 2003 application for approval, saying this wasn’t consistent with field observations and satellite imagery.

The pond was about two kilometres away from the area described in the application and was larger than what had been proposed, he found.

Borth concluded CNRL lacked diligence by failing to obtain an approval amendment.

“The need for adequate procedures and knowledge of legislative requirements is an expectation that the AER has for all of industry,” he wrote. [So why then, does AER let Encana off for violating the Water Act, intentionally fracing Rosebud’s drinking aquifers repeatedly and diverting fresh water from them without the mandatory permit or approval? Why was Encana not criminally charged, especially when, as soon as Encana knew the company had contaminated the aquifers and area water wells, instead of warning the community and water well owners, Encana permanently cemented and sealed the law violating gas well, covering-up the contamination and violations, preventing monitoring and data collection by the regulators and groundwater experts? Why Dr. John Cherry and his Council of Canadian Academies Frac Panel been silent on this travesty?]

“The requirement to obtain an authorization to conduct a regulated activity, including amendments, is considered critical to the regulatory scheme, as it allows the AER to impose conditions to ensure protection of the environment.”

He imposed an administrative penalty of $4,500 for the offence under the Environmental Enhancement and Protection Act.

A further $3,500 penalty was handed out for breaching the Water Act by altering the flow of water for the purpose of drainage by constructing the lay down sedimentation pond and associated drainage ditches. [How much for illegally fracturing and permanently damaging and contaminating multiple drinking water aquifers and water wells community-wide at Rosebud? How much for bribing the impacted community to shut affected residents up?]

An AER spokesman said there was no reported impact to the environment or the public from building the pond. [Reported by whom, CNRL, CAPP, WaterSMART?]

The company couldn’t be reached for comment.

CNRL filed its appeal of the two decisions in January. A hearing date hasn’t been set, but anyone interested in taking part must file a request to participate with email hidden; JavaScript is required by 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Last year, the company was fined $125,000 after workers left a valve open at a remote northern Alberta site in 2010 and 750 litres of crude oil seeped into a creek. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

“I’m actually outraged.” With Alberta Court’s blessings, Energy giant CNRL derails full public inquiry into foreign workers’ deaths

AER still trying to impress Supreme Court of Canada? Fines Pengrowth for a 2013 spill, nothing for Encana illegally frac’ing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers

What’s the AER really up to shutting down Nexen’s 95 pipeline licenses? Protti trying to save his job? Make Albertans forget the courts ruled that the regulator owes no duty of care to anyone no matter how badly harmed, and can violate our constitutional rights with complete legal immunity?

Alberta Energy Regulator Theatrics? “No Duty of Care” AER Allows Resumption of 10 Production Pipelines at Nexen Long Lake; 45 Lines Remain Shut in

Canada Revenue Agency owes taxpayers a general legal “duty of care,” but not AER to citizens harmed by the regulator’s gross negligence, fraud and cover-up of illegal fracking? CRA not allowed to intimidate, threaten us, but AER is, including in bad faith, falsely labeling us as terrorists and violating Charter rights?

Regulator Order Fraud? Was this AER’s plan all along? Bonavista Energy asking Alberta Court of Appeal to quash AER’s order that the company supply safe water to Sakens and their dairy herd after groundwater contaminated with sulfolane

The Sakens need to prepare themselves for when AER’s “Best in Class” cruelty kicks in and takes the water deliveries away

Prevent Cancer Now calls out AER’s Health Fraud! “The AER has no jurisdiction for human health, and Alberta is famed for a chill against the medical community linking ill health to petrochemicals.”

NDP Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd asked Alberta Energy Regulator to compile and present the government all of its information on hydraulic fracturing Has the AER complied yet? Will the NDP make the AER comply, or was the government’s request also just for show?]

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