Stricter Rules for Abandoned Hydro-Carbon Sites
Therefore be it resolved that the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association urge the Government of Saskatchewan to enhance The Environmental Management Protection Act and Regulations to require the owners of abandoned hydro-carbon sites in the Province to: 1. Remediate any contamination issues that are outstanding on abandoned sites in all urban municipalities. 2. To explore ways to hold the property owners and their principals accountable for failing to comply.
Response: The ministry recognizes that in many cases municipalitiesâ€™ desire to have property owners undertake remediation of impacted properties as soon as possible as opposed to being allowed to manage onsite contamination. The Ministry of Environment is evacuating options such as legislation revision or some form of incentive or restriction that could be pursued. Some areas that are under consideration include the potential for provisions to limit third party liability or instituting Financial Assurance requirements until remediation is complete. To address the situation of abandoned facilities where the owner is no longer around and on-site contaminants are not being managed, we are looking at what programs can be put in place as incentives for municipalities or interested developers to undertake remediation. We will also be evaluating mechanisms that could be put in place to prevent future sites from becoming abandoned. Exploring ways to hold the property owners and their principles accountable for failing to comply, there are provisions currently for enforcing section of the environment management and protection act. Any revisions to the Act to incorporate additional legislative requirements will ensure appropriate enforcements provisions available.