Draft regulation – Filing of information on certain drilling and fracturing work on gas or petroleum wells
The draft regulation introduces a new obligation for holders of a certificate of authorization for certain drilling and fracturing work on gas or petroleum wells, namely, that from now on they must periodically file with the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks the information collected in the course of their activities.
The Québec Ombudsperson is of the opinion that the slate of fines for non-compliance with this obligation varies widely and is unstructured. Given the cost of conducting the required analyses, certificate holders could opt to pay a fine rather than hire an expert, even when sanctions for repeat offences are taken into account.
As Raymonde Saint-Germain points out, it is vital that the regulation fulfill its intentions. She therefore recommends that the Minister strive to make the draft regulation better reflect the spirit and letter of Bill 89 (Act to amend the Environment Quality Act in order to reinforce compliance). To that end, she proposed the following measures:
- set out criteria for determining the fines imposed; and
- formally notify the Government or the Minister of any situation involving repeat offences so that the certificate of authorization issued to the offender can be reconsidered.