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Alberta Energy Regulator suspends environment monitoring for oilpatch over COVID

The Alberta Energy Regulator has suspended a wide array of environmental monitoring requirements for the province’s entire energy industry.

According to decisions posted on its website, the suspensions include all conventional oil and gas operators as well as in situ oilsands mines.

A previous decision only affected open-pit oilsands mines.

The regulator says the suspensions are being made because of public health requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suspensions include most monitoring of ground and surface water, unless it enters the environment.

Almost all wildlife monitoring is gone, as is testing for leaks of harmful gases and wetlands monitoring and research.

Some programs are to resume by the end of September, but most have no restart date.