The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is proposing regulatory amendments to O.Reg.
359/09 under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and to Reg.
334 under the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) to streamline the
regulatory process for renewable energy projects as part of the
response to the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) review, and provide additional
To encourage localized generation from smaller, cleaner sources
of electricity and community-based renewable energy facilities, the
Ministry is also proposing to allow specific small scale renewable
energy projects to register on the Environmental Activity and
Sector Registry (EASR). Registered projects are exempt from
requiring a Renewable Energy Approval, and cannot be appealed to
the Environmental Review Tribunal, a major potential obstacle.
The proposed EASR eligibility criteria for small scale renewable
energy facilities are designed to eliminate potential impacts to
the environment through facility design and siting restrictions.
The first eligible facilities are proposed to be:
Small Ground-Mounted Solar (where the biggest issue is impact on
On-Farm Anaerobic Digestion
Landfill Gas Electricity Generation.
For solar, for example, the Ministry is seeking
comments as to whether eligible project should be limited by the
maximum footprint (three hectares); electricity production (500
kilowatts); or both. There would also be land use requirements,
R-3: The facility is located at a site that meets one of the
A. The solar facility is a secondary use to existing
industrial, commercial or institutional facilities where the land
is zoned as industrial, commercial and institutional.
B. A previously developed or disturbed site that has
undergone a phase two environmental site assessment, that, as of
the date of the phase 2 assessment, did not meet the standards that
must be met under paragraph 4i of subsection 168.4(1) of the
Environmental Protection Act to permit a record of site condition
to be filed under the environmental site registry.
C. The facility is located on a previously developed lot
that does not have municipal sewage services or municipal
D. The facility is located on an agricultural operation that
is actively farmed crop or pasture land, with a project location
not larger than 0.4 hectares (1 acre) and is not located inside a
settlement area as identified in a municipal growth plan.
The proposal is open for public comment until May 17.
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The Alberta Court of Appeal's decision in Bokenfohr v Pembina Pipeline Corporation, 2016 ABCA 382 provides an important reflection on admissibility of evidence in the permission stage of an appeal in the oil and gas context.
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