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The BC Oil and Gas Commission (Commission) has made changes to the Oil and Gas Road Regulation (OGRR), strengthening safety and environmental protection. The changes are effective Aug. 14, 2020.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately

The BC Oil and Gas Commission (Commission) has made changes to the Oil and Gas Road Regulation (OGRR), strengthening safety and environmental protection. Below are some of the changes, effective Aug. 14, 2020.

Amendments strengthen safety of an oil and gas road:

  • Use of a qualified person is required for the design, construction, maintenance and deactivation of an oil and gas road.
  • Requirement for culvert design and fabrication in compliance with the newest Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards.
  • Borrow pits must be safe, walls must be stable, and the surrounding area and access must be restored. Slope angles must allow safe exit for wildlife.
  • Clearing widths clarified to account for borrow pits, curves, hills, bridges and railways.
  • Retaining wall defined as an engineered structure.
  • Requirement for reflective markers and “narrow structure ahead” signs at bridges.
  • Limit on what can be stored and prohibition on disposal of garbage, etc., in the roadwork area. Roadwork area includes adjacent authorization areas.

Amendments strengthen environmental protection around an oil and gas road:

  • Permit holder must comply with sections 11 and 12 of the Environmental Protection and Management Regulation on all oil and gas roads.
  • Limit stream crossings to a bridge, culvert, ice bridge or snow fill. General stream protection measures added.
  • A permit holder must not use an oil and gas road unless it’s safe for the intended use, there is a road permit holder, the road is not causing damage to the environment and the intended use will not damage the road or environment.
  • A road permit holder may restrict access to any portion of a road located on private land, subject to maintenance agreement under OGRR section 21 or for land owner use.
  • Ongoing restoration, including revegetation, is required for any portion of a roadwork area not being used for construction, operation or maintenance of the road.
  • Permit holder must prevent invasive plants from becoming established in or spread into adjacent areas from the roadwork area. Permit holder must promptly remove invasive plants from the roadwork area and any adjacent area into which the plants have spread from a roadwork area.
  • Permit holders must prevent transport of invasive plants in any portion of a roadwork area.
  • Permit holder must deactivate a borrow pit no longer used for operations.
  • Timing of road deactivation is to be coordinated with restoration of a site in accordance to the Dormancy and Shutdown Regulation.
  • Road deactivation will include section 19 (1) (c) and (d) of the Environmental Protection and Management Regulation.

Amendments improve communication:

  • Permit holders must now provide notice to local Indigenous Nations and affected permit holders of the construction of an oil and gas road. They must also provide notice to local Indigenous Nations and to local forest district offices before deactivation of an oil and gas road.
  • All parties must now be given a minimum of 30 days’ notice before deactivation. A response objecting to the deactivation must be promptly forwarded to the Commission.

This bulletin has provided a summary of key updates to the Oil and Gas Road Regulation. It does not provide legal advice and is not a substitute for regulation itself, which can be found here: Oil and Gas Road Regulation.

View the amended regulations on our website.

If you have any questions regarding this Industry Bulletin, please contact:

Laura Coward

Strategic Legislative Analyst

BC Oil and Gas Commission

Laura.Coward@bcogc.ca

250-419-4438

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