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Watercourse Crossing & Fish Habitat Restoration Project

Challenge
A mid-sized oil and gas producer was issued an environmental compliance warning from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) with regards to a watercourse crossing. The License of Occupation (LOC) and associated watercourse crossing were recently transferred to this producer during an asset acquisition. The outflow end of the culvert was perched above the waterbody due to improper installation practices, inadequate maintenance and highly erodible soils. The elevated culvert of 1.10 m was a clear fish obstruction on a traditional Bull Trout spawning tributary and repair was required.

Solution
Earthmaster’s qualified consultants were able to assess the watercourse crossing in a timely manner and develop an efficient rehabilitation plan. A hydrologic analysis was completed for the watershed indicating our hydrologic expectations. Regulatory approvals for this project included a self-assessment with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, a Fish Research License, and approvals and notifications under both the Water Act and the Public Lands Act. Special measures were taken to minimize sedimentation during the instream work and ensure the success of downstream Bull Trout spawning habitat. The original structure was replaced with a suitable functional culvert.  Earthmaster acted as the primary site supervisor overseeing the planning, safety, construction, Qualified Aquatic Environmental Specialist (QAES) site supervision, fish salvage, fish identification, monitoring and reclamation.

Outcome
The regulator was completely satisfied with the timely completion of the project abiding with all regulatory constraints. The client was extremely satisfied with the efficient use of time and materials to complete the project quickly, competently and within budget. Fish habitat was restored to upstream portions of the tributary that had been unavailable for the past 35 years. The LOC was returned to fully operational and the watercourse liability was removed. Annual watercourse crossing inspections are now being completed with the client to ensure longevity of the crossing.

Contact Ben Poltorak at ben.poltorak@earthmaster.ab.ca or 780-517-7009 for more information on our Watercourse Crossing services.

A mid-sized oil and gas producer was issued an environmental compliance warning from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) with regards to a watercourse crossing. The License of Occupation (LOC) and associated watercourse crossing were recently transferred to this producer during an asset acquisition. The outflow end of the culvert was perched above the waterbody due to improper installation practices, inadequate maintenance and highly erodible soils. The elevated culvert of 1.10 m was a clear fish obstruction on a traditional Bull Trout spawning tributary and repair was required.