Overview of Changes to the Updated Directive 071

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Directive 071: Key Changes

In February 2023, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) released an updated version of Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response (D071). This updated version includes several changes which are summarized below.

One major change has been to expand the scope of the Directive to include operations regulated under the Geothermal Resource Development Act. There is also extensive restructuring of the Directive to improve clarity and flow, with duplicate requirements and sections removed. The ‘First Call Communication Form’ has been eliminated and the ‘ERP Application Form’ has been updated.

A key change to D071 is the introduction of Manual 026: Emergency Preparedness and Response Guide. This document expands on the requirements in Directive 071 and provides detailed guidance on EPZ calculations, ERP requirements, and public protection measures.

A notable addition within Manual 026 is a comprehensive list of items that the AER recommends duty holders discuss with government authorities during the consultation process including:

Discussing preferred methods of communication, including when and who to contact for consultations and how these consultations should take place.

Deciding whether to use a generic list or develop specific lists for each ERP, and how often these lists should be reviewed. All parties should be clear on their roles and responsibilities during an incident.

Determining if the authority wishes to be involved in public safety awareness programs, and how these programs should be conducted when an EPZ intersects with an urban centre and/or rural subdivision.

Discussing the authority’s expectations regarding incident command and control, including setting up unified command and a single ECC during an incident.


Implications for Non-Geothermal Operations

For those in the industry who do not have geothermal operations, the new Directive 071 should not significantly impact their existing emergency management programs, as there have been no changes to the requirements for when an AERApproved ERP is needed, nor to the required contents of the ERP.

Should you need assistance navigating these updates or want more insights, don’t hesitate to contact Sandhurst Consulting.

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