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Alberta Regulatory Change - New Spills Resulting in Pollution

Alberta Regulatory Change - New Spills Resulting in Pollution

23 January 2019

Insurance companies who insure sudden and accidental pollution and environment impairment liability will be interested in this change in Alberta effective January 1, 2019.

The primary change of interest made by Alberta Environment and Parks (enforcer of the Alberta Environment Protection and Enhancement Act) is to impose a two-year time limit to remediate pollution impacts from new spills which occur after December 31, 2018. It appears all prior spills are grand-fathered.

While the change does not limit the regulator to two years (that is, the regulator could order faster remediation in some cases), it also does not necessarily prevent the regulator from granting waivers to the new regulation. Waivers could possibly be granted in cases where the best remediation plan is long-term monitoring under a Risk Assessment Plan. If this can be shown, the regulator has the power to grant waivers.

The good news – there will be regulation-backed impetus to remediate pollution faster. This may result in pollution insurance claims being settled earlier and avoid long-tail open claims. The new regulation could force the polluting company to take action rather than simply take samples (monitor) and submit results as we at CTA-Calgary sometimes see. The bad news – quicker does not necessarily equate to cheaper.

Lastly, a good environmental consultant can likely apply for and obtain a waiver for their client.

If you’d like to discuss this matter further from a claims perspective, please contact:

Sheila Griffith
Senior Loss Adjuster
Charles Taylor Adjusting
T: +1 403 984 2150