When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard…Pembina Institute Publishes Comprehensive Guide for Landowners

Feb. 15, 2001

DRAYTON VALLEY — The Pembina Institute today released a much-needed and practical tool for the thousands of Albertans affected by wells, pipelines and other energy developments. When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard: A Citizens' Guide to Protecting Your Rights tells landowners, tenants and those living near existing or proposed energy developments what they need to know when dealing with the oil and gas industry.

"People often feel overwhelmed at the prospect of oil and gas development on or near their property," says co-author Mary Griffiths and environmental policy analyst with the Energy Watch program of the Pembina Institute. "While they may not be able to stop a well being drilled, there are many things they can do to make their concerns heard and reduce the risks to their families and livelihood."

About one-third of the 174-page Guide deals with the legal rights of landowners and occupants, from the drilling of seismic holes to site reclamation when a well or pipeline closes. It also tells a landowner what should be in a lease agreement, how to prevent damage to the land and to water wells, and how to deal with compensation issues. Other chapters cover subjects from emergency response plans and legislation governing energy activities to negotiation, compensation and forming a local group. The Guide lays out the steps involved in public hearings when negotiation fails, and points readers to websites with more information on all major topics.

"The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board processes more than 20,000 applications a year for wells, pipelines, batteries and gas plants," says Tom Marr-Laing, co-author of the report and Director of the Institute's Energy Watch program. "We get dozens of calls each month, and many more people must have questions about energy developments on their land. That's why we wrote this Guide — to provide some answers and save time for individual citizens across the province. We hope it will help people when dealing with energy companies and lead to more effective agreements and a cleaner environment."

The Guide can be ordered from the Pembina Institute, phone 1-800-884-3515 or 780-542-6272. Bulk prices available on request. More information is available on the Institute's website at www.pembina.org

For more information contact:

Tom Marr-Laing
Director, Energy Watch Program, Pembina Institute
Cell: 780-621-2472
Email: thomasml@pembina.org

Mary Griffiths
Policy Analyst, Pembina Institute
Office: 780-433-6675
Email: maryg@pembina.org


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