SRP Survey Results
Site Rehabilitation Program Survey Results
168 Corporate Responses (Anonymous)
July 23, 2020
The Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA) recently conducted a survey of its members and the environment industry with regard to the Alberta Site Rehabilitation Program.
The purpose of the survey was to provide ESAA, its members and Alberta Energy information that can be used to shape future program development.
ESAA’s role is to be an advocate for the environment industry and at the same time be a trusted resource of information for Government. ESAA hopes that the information contained in these results will be used to make any improvements to the program that will be beneficial to all companies working on Site Rehabilitation in the province and will improve the economy and number of employed Albertans.
Below is the summary of the results of that survey.
(Comments have been summarized to reduce duplication of comments. No corrections to spelling, grammar or punctuation have been made.)
- incomplete / missing information
- not considered a Section 36 site
- phase 2 – location not defined on the section 36 spreadsheet
- multiple responses of no response from Alberta Energy on any submitted applications
- no SRB decision / no order number
- SRB information not readily available
Q5. Approximately how many projects did you apply for under each eligible project area?
|Closure work on inactive wells and pipelines
|Environmental Site Assessments
(Phase 1 and Phase 2)
|Preparation of applications for remediation and reclamation certificates
Q6. Approximately what percentage of your applications were approved?
- 2.7% Average of all responses
- If Yes, how many full-time equivalent jobs were created: 29
Q9. What positive feedback do you have for Alberta Energy? What improvements would you suggest? Do you have any additional comments or questions?
- Use a templated application with templated contract terms.
- Follow the Saskatchewan program model.
- Poor or no communications with applicants.
- This program has ground to a halt any work that was funded for the 2020 year.
- Guidance that sufficiently directs applicants to provide complete information would be greatly appreciated, preferably well in advance of the next open submission period.
- Website worked well.
- The fact that this program overwhelmed you has materially affected us all.
- Equitable allocation of the $1B to Operators based on an Operator’s liability ratio compared to the total AB Liability tabulated by AER = Operators need to know the potential funding that could be available to their closure programming so successive activities can be planned & coordinated. A portion of $1B should be assigned to ENV Action Groups that function in AB and include in their mission, activities to address challenges presented by land use change/overlap/fragmentation/degradation = cumulative effects management.
- fantastic support to site rehabilitation! it’s been hard for us to get involved because we haven’t yet been successful securing a working relationship with and o&g license holder(s) so that we could then apply for the funding. the only suggestion would be that a site for bid opportunities could be posted?? ie., a site that o&g license holders can post site remediation work they would like to done, and contact information for interested parties to respond to so as to receive scope and bid details
- Have a very prescriptive application process, identify exactly who/what qualifies, for how much, and what documentation is required. Provide Q&A period prior to opening the application process and make it answers available to industry.
- It’s fairly easy to submit an application. The process is too slow though, every day we are looking at furloughs/releases of employees, need the sales from this program to protect jobs, technical jobs.
- The decision of approval or rejection need to be done quicker so O&G companies know what the outcome is so they can plan accordingly. This program has basically halted all env. work from being completed as no O&G company wants to proceed until they know the outcome of the grant submissions. Do to the very slow role out of the program the appropriate timing to complete the work has been lost and the purpose of the program “get boots on the ground” has been the exact opposite and has brought the industry to a stand still. For roll-outs going forward there needs to be more certainty and clarity as in order for environmental programs to be effective there is a lot up front planning and organization that is required and longer term commitments to funding would make the most benefit of get most sites through the full process to reclamation certification.
- I would recommend not changing the criteria to approve applications after they have already been submitted. I would recommend increasing the number of workers reviewing submissions. I would recommend increased communication.
- The program was structured well, is a fantastic concept and has the potential to help sustain a large number of service companies while benefiting the environment.
- Processing times and rejections over avoidable issues that should have been explained more clearly could unfortunately cause a great deal of stress to the companies this program was meant to benefit.
- Things were rolled out quickly, however, communication to companies assuring some work is coming would be nice.
- Many oil companies have put work on hold waiting on potential funding. Many have no idea if they were even eligible for the first round of funding.
- NO positive feedback. AB Energy obviously doesn’t understand scope of Rem-rec work, potentially missing 2020 field season.
- A clear and concise roadmap to the application process. Like a good lesson plan, it would be beneficial to have the rules set out before the application, not after some applications are already placed; this causes disjointed confusion and frustration. With a more clear structured application process, limitations, timelines, expectations (ie: CONTRACT or SUBMISSION DOCUMENTS – REQUIREMENTS), industry representatives would feel much less frustrated and ‘left out’, and the system would be viewed with much higher fairness and transparancy, as well as less critical to corruption and/or pre-set agenda and favoritism.
- We are preparing to shut down 50 crews as we have not secured any funding. Each crew represents 4-5 people that need work. starting cold will make it slower. Need more urgency from DOE and larger scale programs to start with. Fall and Q1 work need to be planned now. More collaboration at an operations level with industry would help.
- Communication was lacking. The notion that this would be an expedited process to put qualified workers back to work still has not been recognized. The governments understanding of sites for that qualify for Phase 2 – Section 36 locations – was poor. There are too many rumors as to how funds were to be allocated, how sites and producers would be prioritized – this is a result of the lack of communication from the government.
- Good intentions, but the guidance for applications is in places vague and contradictory. The contractor-based setup resulting in an unnecessary number of applications (i.e. we’ve heard of cases with the consultant, lab and drillers applying separately for the same site)
- I can see the benefit of putting money in the service providers hands when doing work for smaller producers that are going through difficult times. It makes things more comfortable for companies to dedicate resources to assisting these companies address their environmental liabilities. That said our company has only applied for projects with producers that are relatively healthy. I hope that these companies are not being penalized for their superior balance sheets. If the objective is to put Albertans back to work this accomplished working for both healthy and weaker companies. I have heard from many consultants and most have not received feedback one way or the other about their applications. This makes it difficult for service providers to schedule work and raises some questions around times lines required in the applications. Our company bundled a number of Phase 1 ESAs (simple scopes) together to reduce the number of applications requiring review – feedback one way or the other in terms of whether this is acceptable would be ideal so that we can adjust future applications.
- We have only heard back about 3 out of approximately 1000 applications. Companies who were planning to go ahead with some work this spring are waiting to hear about the results of this program (which means that we are actually doing less work than we might have been doing if this program didn’t exist). We have several employees on temporary layoffs we would love to bring back, but are waiting on the results of this program.
- As an Enviro Consultant working primarily for O&G, project work all but disappeared in early April and many consultants have not had any work at all since then. May has now come and gone and we’re entering a third month with no work – and hardly any companies have heard whether or not they’re getting any SRP funding. As a small company owner the significant delays in awarding funds is very frustrating. If applications are rejected and resubmitted under Tranche 3, and if it takes this long to review, many many small consulting companies will not survive long enough to even receive the funds. Or if funding is not released until Q3/Q4 (end of field season, busiest time for equipment) it will make for a very challenging winter as much of the field work needs to be done in snow free conditions.
- Very slow and not very well executed. This program got industry excited once it was announced but since it has been rolled out all there seems to be is frustration all around. The goal of putting Albertans back to work has failed as it has been a month and no one is yet to be working. Quite the opposite as producers have pulled work plans back waiting for funding so no one is really out working and we are taking steps backwards. I hope that DOE is going to take feedback seriously and actually help the Albertans out they originally said they were going to do. Share the wealth and give each producers (financially stable or not) a percentage of their orphan well payment of the $1BB and this would be a way more successful program! Also, AB should take notes from other provinces, especially Saskatchewan! There is no accountability currently in AB to control costs and work on more sites. Everyone is wanting to get back to work yet this program is putting the pause button for all. AB should give $250MM to Saskatchewan as they will be hard pressed to spend the funds efficiently the way they are rolling things out. I am curious as well how are they going to audit costs and actual work completed? Very disappointing in my opinion!
- We’ve been waiting for approval for over 6 weeks, the idea of this program was supposed to get people back to work and we have nothing until they approve our application. They should have focused on service contractors that only have a few applications in and approved them first before reviewing a list of several hundred that benefit one company only.
- It is very poorly organized and we have heard back from very few applications. It has actually resulted in less work being done than originally planned partially due to the cancellation of the 2020 ABC program. There will be far less work done in 2020 than was originally planned. A big failure overall.
- Great idea… BUT Phase 1 of Program does not reach companies with field ready equipment, unless active MSA with Licensees already in place (not enough time to obtain before program over-subscribed). Phase 2 impossible as Licensees are bankrupt/no longer exist to sign contracts. Landowners left out of process/nomination blocked by Phase 2 contract requirements. Can landowners act as signatory in Licensees place? They are most affected party.
- The intention of getting people working was good but the lack of approvals or any feedback on our applications has been stressful, misleading, and strenuous on our operations. More transparency on how applications are being evaluated for approval and how many have been approved is recommended. More communication with applicants on the status of their submissions would be good.
- I am not with a reclamation company but rather with a producer. So far this has been a zero result effort for a lot of work for us and our reclamation companies. Very little or next to no instructions, poorly planned, and just as today of 4 major reclamation companies we use only 19 sites out of at least 2000 requests have been awarded. Who is getting all the grant money is what we wonder. What this has done is put projects on hold, made companies spend a lot of effort and money to apply, get false hopes up for anything being rewarded to us. delayed project work where weed control is needed etc etc etc. I would strongly suggest communication is much better going forward and at least get the info out on what to fill out and how to ensure projects are listed properly. Supposed first come first serve was only an optic as so far of those 20 projects we know about none of them were the first ones put in.
- Unfortunately to processing time on these applications have hindered our ability to get back to work. We would suggest putting the application in the hands of the operating company to significantly reduce to volume of applications. Payment can still be made directly to the services, but the applying on a license base will be much more simple to handle from an admin. basis with sacrificing clarity. The overlying point of this grant, getting people back to work, has been overshadowed by processing time and strict, undefined contracting requirements which were unofficially drawn out after the grant application window was open.
- Prior to the announcement of the SRP I personally (not whole, just under my management) had approximately $5 million in budgets for a single client. Due to the SRP, the funding was completely halted and no work was conducted during the waiting time for application approvals or rejections. During this time, we and our vendors lost out on approximately $1,000,000 of work that would have been conducted during the spring reclamation season. The work was not done, employees have been sitting without work waiting for over 6 weeks, when prior to this program they would have been busy. My clients are frustrated for similar reasons. We were told first come first serve. Of the 1900+ applications we have submitted we have had less than 25 approved, and none rejected. This is extremely poor turn around on the Alberta Energy. They have completely disrupted and hurt our industry even further. Many of my clients have coordinators that are contract, they only have work when we are working, therefore this has put them out of work as well. Time should have been taken prior to announcing the funding to get the data and the facts about the current economic and environmental liability situation in Alberta. Industry (licensees, environmental consultants, vendors and AER) should have played a MUCH larger role in deciding how the funding would be distributed. Complete disappointment, and more to economically recover from due to this program. Alberta government failed at helping out a desperate industry.
- I am glad to see that these orphaned and abandoned wells are being addressed and appropriately remediated. Hopefully important work can be fairly distributed to consultants and contractors from Alberta.
- We submitted comments directly to Energy and continue to provide feedback. In summary, process needs to be more streamlined if they intend on getting peopl back to work and reducing liabilities. There is a lot of frustration with the program roll out from the way contracts were set up to now being administered manually and quite slow. As well, the entire program has lacked transparency and equity. We are hopeful that some of the elements from the SK program can be integrated into future programs and consider the application of an ABC approach whereby operators are dealt with fairly as per the amount they have contributed to the orphan levy and taxes.
- At this time I have zero positive feedback. Have had zero feedback on applications submitted May 1. Process is an administrative mess. Improvements: let operators have more say. As a Reclamation Coordinator at a large O&G company I do not feel this is well managed… I am also concerned about other companies applications and costs on their projects. I am personally managing close to 4,000 abandoned, reclaiming locations and have a good idea of what things should cost. Approvals should be made public so audits can be done to see how money is being spent. FOIP?
- We would like to see a more coordinated program that looks at a whole treatment area, from orphan wells to caribou habitat restoration and everything in between, and actively coordinated with local business to do the work locally.
- Future increments need to have the funding come through the Operator rather than the contractors. To do any sizeable work, (ie: well, pipeline, facility abandonments) it is not at all efficient to have every vendor apply individually. For site assessments it was workable but well abandonments can have 10-20 different companies performing work, (service rig, cementers, boiler, water truck, cementers, medics, etc.) and it would be very cumbersome to have every one of them apply for every well that is going to be abandoned as part of a project.
- Be more timely. Distribute wealth as opposed to majority to key players. Review ethics in who is involved with awarding work. Use a new platform to determine costs as OWA is not industry standard.
- It would be helpful to have the program more closely integrated with AER and landowner priorities. Could the next phase of the program be integrated with projects that re-purpose existing leases for other purposes? This could save money on reclamation (allow more leases to be addressed), create longer-term employment with ongoing lease and tax revenue for rural communities.
- as a producer the vendor specific model is cumbersome, as is the first come first served approach and the $30,000 limitation. Lots of work with limted value to getting funds flowing. Recommend working with CAPP and member companies to understand the best way to get funding flowing where needed.
- I would recommend SK model; where each licensee is given guaranteed money allocation prior the program is started. Biggest concern is with the uncertainty of funding and timing. Originally, there was a target to review each application within 5 days, which did not materialize. There were inconsistencies in the rules provided on the website, on the webinar and received in emails from the wellsite rehabilitation program staff (i.e. first come-first served basis for applications review vs. “fair”(?) allocation for all applicants). Since a lot of the proposed work is seasonal and requires snow free cover or crops in prime stage, it will be difficult to implement these projects. Multiple clients cancelled projects as they are awaiting the funding. As it stand now; the wellsite rehabilitation program did the opposite of “putting Albertans back to work”.
- The first phase of the process was very poorly planned and released and seems to be causing more confusion than necessary (if things would have been thought through prior to release…). More industry involvement in communication likely would have been helpful seeing as we are the ones who manage these types of programs on a daily basis… Releasing information a few days/weeks prior to the “nomination” process would allow for better planning. And allocation of funds based on licensees liabilities would also make the “first come first serve” process much less overwhelming…
- Phase 2: it is really hard making contact with Receivership trustees to offer our services. Why do we have to rely on these defunct licensees to get the work? They are irresponsible companies that are holding the keys to the work. We should take them out of the process to streamline it.
- Advising those that oversee these types of sites with the Regulator that this is happening…..
- Positive – the ETS system is easy to use in submitting an application. Improvements – improved communication throughout program. What information is required, why are application reviews taking so long, what is the criteria for which projects get selected.
- Provide clearer direction regarding use of subcontractors, process applications faster, make clearer directions for prioritization of projects, rather than changing once the process is in progress. No or very few sites were eligible with the outdated Section 36 list provided for Phase II funding
- Both Sask and BC programs are a much better approach that what AER has done. Many clients have put work on hold waiting to see if they can get funding for the work. As a result this funding program and how it is being rolled out may actually work to be delayed at the worst possible time and cause additional layoffs.
- Positive feedback – Energy appears receptive to comments from service providers, but the responses are often vague and not conclusive. Suggestions have been shared at length with AB SRP. More frequent and clear direction should be provided from representative associations (ESAA/CLRA, CAPP/EPAC) to create unified message. Communication seems to be occuring with only select parties resulting in lots of rumour and misinformation.
- In theory the program is good, I would recommend better updates however. My company made 24 applications in the first round of funding and have received no feedback as to whether any are approved and the oil companies I have applied for are getting impatient. Individual updates would be preferred but even an update on the website giving projected approval times would be very appreciated.
- I like the whole idea. It seems odd that the Government doesn’t seem to think that office work is applicable, things like having a Project Manager that is not in the filed. Quicker turn around. We have lost 2 months of the season and some sites that have minor weed issues may be out of control now with the delay. It may not be possible to complete all of the work we applied on at this point.
- Inclusion of a mechanism for parties to apply for grants for legacy sites where there is no licensee and the site is not with the OWA. Awarding funding based on participation in area based closure and to the companies that can demonstrate resilience and funds should be made available for repurposing sites for other uses not just clean up
- I understand the choice to fund consultants versus industry however it leaves industry very isolated from a process this is related to their assets and liabilities. Some method of having industry being able to obtain more knowledge would be appreciated. I am not surprised by the overwhelming response but we still need more information on how the applications are being approved and the timelines for the next stage.
- A better process and more transparency. This is not getting Alberta back to work, it is causing alot of stress in an already stressful time.
- How is it possible that the government can sole source public funds? 2. Companies with access to large clients with a large number of sites have an unfair advantage to be awarded the bulk of the funding and this is eliminating work for other vendors 3. There are rumours that information was released to some companies prior to the release giving them unfair preparation time and a competitive advantage. 4. Why did the government not do something like Saskatchewan did which is a far more equitable distribution for producers. 5. Why did the government not provide a template to fill out making applications more consistent and easier to review and approve?
- I have zero positive feedback. The timing has taken way too long that this is doing the opposite of job creation. Work that would normally be happening right now is not because we are waiting on funding. The information that was provided during the webinars does not seem to be what is actually happening as a first come first serve situation is not what is being reflected in the approvals that are coming in. Also, the projects that were approved are not near each other and seem to be completely random, not allowing for area based closure. We have missed windows in reclamation waiting for this funding. Farmers have already seeded. If we weren’t waiting for funding then a lot of earthworks projects would have been completed prior to seeding. It was also extremely unclear who would be eligible for the first round of funding. There were companies that didn’t think they would be eligible so they didn’t bother. From the amount of work that it has crippled due to waiting, I don’t know if it was worth participating at this point.
- There is such a backlog on the requests and companies are having a tough time hanging on especially since the AER suspended a round of environmental monitoring.
- We have about 100K seedlings that were ordered for Spring 2020 planting that have been affected as companies have chosen to wait it out and see if applications are approved. They are living biological entities that have been put into the ground by June 20th according to best practice and most likely will be composted.
- Review process should be automated along with contract execution with GoA for faster turnaround of review/decision. DoE originally said first come first served but that clearly is not the case based on approvals received. Need to share criteria being used for application ranking/review/approval.Program seems to be having opposite effect of what was intended due to slow approval process and lack of communication/transparency from the DoE/GoA.
- Its a good program to get Alberta back to work. However, the program is difficult to access if you work for only mid stream oil and gas as they are seen to be able to afford to pay even though they are holding back work.
- If the money was given directly to the oil and gas companies, instead of the contractors, then they could use their existing business processes to make sure the money is effectively spent in a short amount of time.
- We are thankful to get a small amount of work from the program. Our company spent close to $40k in wages to upload well over 1000 applications as we were under the impression it was first come first served. We had folks working around the clock through weekends to deliver this. Out of over 1600 applications submitted only 18 have been approved so far and numerous clients were holding back budget waiting for approval resulting in lost field season for reclamation work. More industry consultation would have been better, the private sector is ultimately more efficient than the government and small to intermediate sized firms such as ours are very nimble and able to produce high quality work in a short timeline. It would have been good for the government to attempt to harness the private sector to support this initiative in a more efficient manner.
- An information period prior to opening the application process would have been helpful.
- There is a lot of uncertainty with the program (ie how to access funding, what will be approved or not and what liability would be opened up? We have clients (oil and gas producers), who have approved projects prior to the SRP program that have cancelled, which has been difficult for our staff. If they knew how much funding they may be eligible for, they may have approved work for us. However, since they don’t know how much funding they may receive, they are choosing to wait for clarification and make a decision once they understand the SRP program better. With the low price of oil and market uncertainty, clients are choosing only to complete work they can do without SRP funding; if they don’t have a guarantee on how much money they may receive, executing work scopes that have uncertainty themselves (more contamination than expected) is difficult.
- While I believe the industry as a whole appreciates the financial assistance and recognition that we need such assistance, I know as well that most of us are extremely disappointed at the amount of field time we have lost while awaiting any direction. The entire environmental industry has been crippled and I know that our company isn’t the only one hanging by a thread at this time.
- Seems like the program was tailored to a few O&G companies and their preferred contractors/consultants.
- It would be beneficial for weekly updates to be made available to the public and involved stakeholders. As of right now, inquires must be completed on an individual basis and the program lacks clarity as to the rate that work is approved/moving forward. The second Phase of the program was poorly designed and provided little opportunity for the funding ($100 MM) to be allocated to aiding in the cleanup of inactive site or generating work within the province. As such, the rollout out of Phase 3 should be expedited or allocate additional funding to Phase 1.
- I think the program was poorly executed in that the single well model did not allow us to truly coordinate and plan with contractors as well as provide cost saving measures which we can when we are able to excute large scale multi-well programs. Further as there were cocnerns with applying on a single well with multiple contractors in a coordinated effort, and what might happen if one of those vendors didnt get approvced (meaning the work couldnt proceeed) many companies applied under a prime contrctor model. Now it appears that sole company is receiving large scale funding when in fact they are only get a 1/4 or less of that funding as the rest will be paid to sub contractors required for these coordinated projects. At this rate, it appears that the personal time and cost of the application process, may outweigh any potential benefit the program has. Lastly, it appears 90 % of the sites listed under Phase 2 are with OWA or receivers so can this work even proceed?
- It should not be on a first-come first-served basis. Some companies had inside information prior to the application date and were well prepared for opening day. It is a very biased process and should be investigated. If the intent was to put albertans to work, i ahve yet to hear on any applications even though i applied the monday following the opening, which gave tie to gather tax information, which amazingly, some competitors were prepared for prior to opening day. There are personal connections within AE with consulting companies and those were compromised for their gain. Auditing should be required. Noone i know outside of those companies is working, and in fact our work is on hold pending hearing anything from the program. So, even though i submitted projects within 3 days of opening, it has delayed my potential income for several weeks, and may now delay any work at all until we hear back, which may not be until July. Unbelievable
- We are currently working to launch studies looking at how legacy oil, gas and coal infrastructure might be turned from a liability into an asset. Alberta Energy would see a benefit from looking at rehabilitation options for typical legacy sites instead of one site at a time.
- We have prepared three separate statements of work with the lease holders for consideration under SRP. These have not been advanced as executed contracts however, which is a prerequisite for an SRP application. Under Phase 1 there was insufficient notification or time to get a fully executed contract in place and the AER mechanism appears naïve to what is required under contemporary contractual good practice and financial due diligence. Awarding SRP funding for projects that were already committed per an executed contract hardly seems to be a catalyst for new employment or additional site assessment / remediation activities. Under Phase 2, the new set of eligibility rules have rendered one of the three sites under consideration ineligible. We may still proceed with a Phase 2 SRP application, but the benefit relative to the pursuit costs (extra time for strategization and preparation) appears doubtful.
- Considerable effort was put into applying for applications on behalf of licensee’s as there was no clear indication of how funding was going to be allocated. Saskatchewan clearly communicated funding allocation to licensee’s to enable more efficient program planning. Alberta should follow that methodology for subsequent rounds so licensee’s can plan programs more efficiently.
- The incentive to get our industry moving ahead from the impacts of COVID19 and the reduced market price of Oil is great. The speed at which is program approves applications is detrimental to supporting viable business in the environmental sector of Alberta. The longer we wait , the more jobs will be lost.
- Program is good considering the circumstances, the awarding of contracts has been brutally slow and takes away from the intent of the program. Also, by cancelling the ABC program we may lose most of our 2020 reclamation budget, cancelling the ABC takes away any net benefit from the SRP on the amount of work completed and requires more work and more uncertainty.
- I understand that the volume of applications has been difficult to process, but that should have been anticipated. More clarity needs to be provided on application requirements and eligibility in advance of funding opening for application, not the day the portal opens. The window for completing work in 2020 is right now, and if the round 1 applications cannot be reviewed in a timely manner, that should be communicated to industry so that they can make alternate plans for 2020 instead of waiting on funding decisions.
- Take your time structuring the subsequent tranches to allow for transparent, predictable, and equitable distribution of funds. Everything is on hold right now because no one know what will be approved or what future tranches might allow for. One off approvals do not facilitate work moving forward. Packages/programs need to be considered to allow for efficient and cost effective execution.
- Provide guidance on the application process prior to opening the system for applications. Give service providers the opportunity to ensure the ETS system is working for them prior to opening up the grant program.
- We are service provider applicable to large scale projects. The grant program is useless with a $30,000 ceiling. After 20 years of listening to the industry say the consultants are out assessing now, there should be remediation in near future, but every year the same story and now a program which only funds more churning of billable consulting hours with no capacity to actually get anything of consequence completed as far as true site remediation and reclamation is concerned. It’s a sad state of affairs with a program developed with no grasp of reality for what this industry requires to actually get things done. The goal is missed unless the goal is to spend money without actual project completions occurring.
- Application requirements needed to shared before the project opened and a first come first serve basis is not effective. These both contributed to companies scrabbling to get applications in as fast as possible and as a result not submitting quality projects that were not fully scoped. I understand why the program was setup the way it was, but overall it was just very ineffective and confusing to apply for.
- Nothing positive to say whatsoever about the roll out of this program and the resulting 6 week waiting period. Leave it to government bureaucrats to reach new head-scratching levels of ineptitude and incompetence. The best course of action would have been to do what SK did and with the available funds, grant the producers a spend amount for closure activities based on a set % of their deemed inactive liabilities. This would have allowed them to devise a closure program that works best for them, and to procure the necessary services at preferred pricing levels. I fear there will be too many logistical and cost inefficiencies looking at this through the lens of specific project work, rather than program work. The unintended consequences of leaving the approvals in the hands of non-industry related bureaucrats has resulted in nearly all closure activities province wide being put on hold until ASRP approvals are received. This is even true for producers who did have post COVID/oil price collapse budget for 2020 activities. They then delayed initiating this work on the off chance they could get some government funding for it. This program has been an absolute schmozzle from the get go and it is grossly disappointing, especially coming from a provincial government that prides itself on reducing red tape and getting Albertans back to work.
- We have submitted over 700 applications and have yet to see a response on any of it. It is clear from this program that the AER and industry does not understand the vital role that consultants play in site closure work, specifically with assessment, remediation and reclamation. With the extra effort we had to put it to prepare applications, this has actually hurt us more than had we done nothing and has resulted in more layoffs, not less.
- I think the program is a great idea, however, they need to expedite the approval process and be clear up front out the guidelines and expectations for filling out the forms.
- More clarity should have been provided (including Q&A sessions) prior to the program and site being activated. Lack of understanding caused a lot of companies to have to resubmit applications.
- To date we have had no response to any of our applications. Since I understood that one of the the primary objectives of Phase I was to get people back to work quickly, it might be nice to have some sort of response to at least one application.
- We had multiple questions and they were never answered. We have submitted 80 applications and have heard back on 1 (which was approved) have not heard back on the remaining 79. We are still waiting…..which means the work isn’t getting done yet. The webinar they did with ESAA was really good. It would be good to know what they are looking for and what their measuring stick is (ie how do they choose who gets funded). For example: must you have First Nations ownership to receive funding?
- No positive feedback earned. This program was to push the work out quickly so we could get our people back to work. We couldn’t see the application before hand to understand the vague published rules for the application process. The rules changed as we were going through the process. It was advertised as first come first serve – or the applications would be processed in the order they were received – THIS WAS ARBITRARILY CHANGED AFTER ALL APPLICATIONS WERE FILED. All our sites were filed within the first 7000 industry applications being filed. We have been waiting six weeks for something of significance to be approved and nothing has been approved. Saskatchewan had applications received and approved in 1 week. What the heck is taking so long for you to get things approved – we hope it isn’t the legal team churning the information and running up a big invoice – we are to be cleaning up sites, not creating paper for lawyers to process.
- Nice idea but funding is coming too slow. Can’t keep people hanging on for this.
- Application process was simple and easy. Need more communication about the timing for when feedback from the first phase will be received
- Develop a process that is fair and equitable. Consider each licensee’s proportion of provincial inactive liability for eligibility.
- The rollout of the program was rushed.
- At this point nothing positive at this point – 6 weeks and counting for any communication.
- More transparency in the application process and award of funding