Environmental Requirements


IOGC operates pursuant to the Indian Oil and Gas Act and the Indian Oil and Gas Regulations, 1995 ("Regulations"); ensures that provisions of CEAA are met; uses the Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment; and uses standards of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) Upstream Oil and Gas Reclamation and Remediation Program.

Environmental Review Form (ERF) Application and Submission

Applicants are required to complete and submit the ERF for oil and gas projects including exploratory licenses, surface leases, and rights-of-way on First Nation reserve lands.

Environmental Audit Submission and Timing RequirementsFootnote 1

Type of Audit First Audit Due Date Subsequent Audit Due Dates
Surface lease (OS) December 31st one (1) growing season after the construction of the Lease December 31st every five (5) years thereafter
  • Every three (3) years (multiple well battery or compressors)
Right of way (RW) December 31st two (2) growing seasons after the installation of the pipeline December 31st every ten (10) years thereafter

Spills and Emergencies

Companies are required to notify IOGC and First Nations of spills or health-threatening emergencies on First Nation reserve lands. Companies must also notify Health Canada, Environment Canada, and the appropriate provincial government organizations as required.

Companies may be required to submit remediation plans for spills to IOGC and must undertake remediation activities to clean up spills to required standards.

Requirements relating to spills and emergencies are included in the CEAA Terms Letter attached to and forming part of a surface agreement.

Remediation, Reclamation and Surrender of Surface Agreements

The following procedures are required to be carried out before a lessee receives approval to surrender a surface lease:

  1. Pursuant to subsection 38(2) of the Regulations, lessees must obtain the written approval from IOGC to abandon a well that has been cased and from which the original drilling rig has been removed. Send abandonment requests to IOGC's Petroleum Geologist.
  2. The lessee must ensure that reclamation on all First Nation reserve land, regardless of location or province, is completed as per: the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment ("CCME") Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines; AER Upstream Oil and Gas Reclamation and Remediation Program standards (including all associated Information Letters, Guidelines, Criteria and Forms); and as indicated in the Environmental Protection Terms letter attached to the lease agreement. Note that only those leases issued after 1995 will have Environmental Protection Terms letters.

    If the lessee did not carry out any projects or make any physical alterations to the surface area of the lands under the surface lease, it must still provide a reclamation application. Additionally, an inspection of the site is still required pursuant to subsection 44(2)(a) of the Regulations.
  3. The lessee must provide IOGC with a Band Council Resolution signed by Chief and Council for any feature that will not be reclaimed (e.g. access road, Texas gate).
  4. The lessee must advise IOGC in writing if a lease site requires Phase II and III Environmental Site Assessments and/or remediation. IOGC requires the lessee to submit a Draft Remediation Action Plan including remediation criteria for IOGC review to ensure all interested parties are in agreement.Contact IOGC.
  5. IOGC will review the submitted reclamation application package for completeness. The lessee must arrange a reclamation inspection, at which representatives from the First Nation, IOGC and the lessee must be in attendance. Pursuant to subsection 44(2)(a) of the Regulations, the band council must inspect the surface area of the lease to be surrendered and confirm by Band Council Resolution (BCR) that it has been restored to its satisfaction. IOGC encourages lessees to survey and stake the well centre and lease corners prior to the reclamation inspection. Reclamation inspections will only be conducted in the growing season and in accordance with the timing requirements set out in AER's Reclamation Criteria for Wellsites and Associated Facilities – Update 2010 (including any subsequent updates).

    Once the lease site has been reclaimed in accordance with AER's Reclamation Criteria for Wellsites and Associated Facilities – Update 2010 (including any subsequent updates) and is ready for surrender, the lessee shall submit to IOGC and the First Nation, completed copies of IOGC's Reclamation and Surrender Application Form. Contact IOGC for a current version.
  6. Issues identified during the reclamation inspection will be discussed during the inspection. Mitigation measures may be developed to address the issues. If deficiencies are identified, a follow-up reclamation inspection will be required after the deficiencies have been corrected.
  7. IOGC will provide the lessee with a letter stating the reclamation is satisfactory. Upon receipt of the letter, the lessee may apply to IOGC to surrender the surface lease.

IOGC's service standard is to conduct inspections within 18 months of receiving a complete reclamation application.

Please forward applications for reclamation to:

Environment Unit
Indian Oil and Gas Canada
Suite 100, 9911 Chiila Boulevard
Tsuu T'ina, AB  T2W 6H6

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