Report ‘Buried’ By Alberta Shows Oil And Gas Wells Aren’t Reclaimed

“A previously unreleased report obtained by The Narwhal shows a government division — soon to be scrapped by premier Jason Kenney — raised red flags about the province’s failing system for wellsite cleanup”

“The Narwhal has obtained a previously unreleased report commissioned by the Alberta government that raises red flags about whether the government’s own program to ensure oil and gas sites are cleaned up is actually working in the long term.

The 55-page report, obtained through a freedom of information request, cites “mounting evidence” that Alberta’s land reclamation program is not ensuring former oil and gas sites meet regulatory requirements in the long run, and instead confirms that, of the sites studied so far by an internal government pilot project, all but one failed to meet the government’s standards.

A former senior government official (who asked to remain anonymous) with knowledge of the report told The Narwhal that releasing the report was “seen as an extreme risk to the department” and that there was “extreme pushback” against it being made public.

The former official described the report as a “valuable piece of science” and one “that needed to be publicly reported.””

Sharon J. Riley reports for the Narwhal January 23, 2020.