Regulatory Expertise and Approvals
SynergyAspen has established itself as an expert environmental consulting company. Our professional staff has significant experience working with regulatory agencies in BC and have developed a high level of credibility. As a result, SynergyAspen is able to help clients navigate through the various regulatory processes and can provide strategic advice to clients that increases the probability of successful regulatory closure, reduced costs, and timely completion of their projects.
SynergyAspen’s technical team is intimate with not only the regulations and guidance under the Ministry of Environment’s (MoE’s) Environmental Management Act (EMA), but also under the Oil and Gas Activities Act (OGAA). For oil and gas sites, depending on the circumstances of the site, options exist to navigate through a combination of the EMA and OGAA; SynergyAspen can identify differences and benefits for each and can help determine what is best for your needs.
A contaminated sites legal instrument (an instrument) may be required under MoE’s EMA. Instruments available from MoE include:
Determinations of contaminated site (whether a site is contaminated or not).
Approvals in principle for a site remediation plan.
Certificates of Compliance for completion of remediation with environmental quality standards.
Contaminated soil relocation agreements.
MoE requires that for all non-high risk sites, an application for an instrument is accompanied by a recommendation of an approved professional. All Contaminated Site Approved Professionals (CSAP) are qualified by the CSAP Society. They must meet both education and experience requirements and must pass both regulatory and technical exams. CSAPs must also be covered by liability insurance and must be registered and in good standing with one of the specified BC professional associations.
A document often sought during certain municipal permit applications is a release on applications that are suspended–or ‘frozen’–due to requirements imposed by MoE as a result of a site profile submission. These releases require the opinion of a CSAP. Phil Lowery is a CSAP and a Contaminated Sites Urban Specialist.
SynergyAspen’s CSAP members are highly respected industry professionals who have undertaken numerous CSAP recommendations (in excess of 40 submissions, including the first Determination for a methamphetamine lab) and Release requests. One such recommendation made by SynergyAspen, resulted in BC’s only recorded successful MoE Determination approval for an oil and gas lease site in northeast BC. SynergyAspen is also on MoE's list of preferred consultants to complete CSAP external reviews for projects that require ministerial review for an instrument.
SynergyAspen’s CSAP staff (Numerical Standards Approved Professionals) in combination with SynergyAspen’s subcontractors (CSAPs – Risk Based Standards Approved Professionals) has the expertise to complete any human health or ecological risk assessment project in the province of British Columbia. SynergyAspen relies on CSAPs subcontractors (Risk Based Standards Approved Professionals) for ‘larger’ risk assessment projects, however all screening level risk assessments can be completed in-house by our CSAPs (Numerical Standards Approved Professionals).
SynergyAspen is able to provide clients, through their CSAP members, expert reports for legal cases that are related to environmental contamination.
OGC Certificate of Restoration Application
The Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) has authority to issue Certificates of Restoration (CoR) for oil and gas non-high priority sites to confirm the permit holder has met all of the Oil and Gas Activities Act (OGAA) and regulatory requirements. Some of the reasons to seek a CoR include: to gain regulatory closure for the site, to reduce liability, to return site to the landowner in acceptable condition, and to release from surface tenure/rental obligations.
A CoR has two components:
Part I – Issued by OGC once a registered professional confirms that a site has been investigated and remediated to meet regulatory requirements under the Environmental Management Act (EMA) to confirm the site has an "environmental clean bill of health"
This is akin to BC MoE issuing a Certificate of Compliance for non-oil and gas sites. SynergyAspen has completed the environmental work to obtain over 120 Part I components to date for clients. SynergyAspen’s expertise in contaminated sites enables us to easily navigate through OGC regulatory requirements to assist in obtaining a Part I for any type of oil and gas site such as a well site, gas plant, or battery.
Part II – Issued by OGC once a registered professional provides evaluation of final reclamation to meet the requirements of OGAA that a site has been returned to its natural state. SynergyAspen has completed over 100 reclamation projects for successful Part IIs for clients. We are able to achieve reclamation site closure and to obtain Part IIs by implementing industry leading initiatives on Crown and agricultural lands, fostering strong relationships with local contractors, and having a thorough understanding of the intricate and evolving regulatory requirements within British Columbia.
Once both parts have been received for a site, a CoR is then issued by OGC, and the release from tenure or rental obligations are removed.