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NOTE: The AAMDC membership passed an amendment at the Fall 2007 Convention to expand this resolution to include powerlines. The original resolution is very specific and detailed with regard to pipelines. So in order to accommodate the intent of the amendment, this annotation has been permanently added to Resolution 25-07F entitled, Leasing of Pipeline Right of Ways. Therefore, when considering this resolution both pipeline and powerline issues and impacts should be acknowledged.WHEREAS in the vast majority of cases in the Province of Alberta pipeline owners do not provide annual lease compensation to landowners for the pipeline right of ways located on their land; andWHEREAS the use of the lands which contain operational and abandoned pipelines is limited respecting set back regulations and soil disturbance issues, possibly leading to a loss in value of the property and reducing the potential development opportunities of the property in this thriving Alberta economy; andWHEREAS many municipalities in the Province of Alberta are owners of land containing pipeline right of ways where no annual lease compensation is paid;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and Alberta Environment to implement legislation requiring pipeline owners to pay annual leases on pipeline right of ways located in the Province of Alberta as compensation for the limitations the pipeline places on the property in respect to potential uses;FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that this annual compensation continue to be paid until the pipeline is removed and properly reclaimed at the pipeline owner’s expense.
Currently, most pipeline companies do not pay rent on pipeline right of ways. The only compensation is the initial payment involving the construction of the line. Long after the construction is complete there are still limitations and restrictions that apply to the land where the pipeline is located. Some examples are:- Set back restrictions- Caveats – Soil disturbance issues- EasementsAs stated in the resolution, the right of way restrictions may lead to a loss in value of the property because of the limitations placed on the future use of the land. The existence of the pipeline right of way may also reduce the potential development and diversification of the property. Currently, there are opportunities and demands to develop property to accommodate the growth pressures created by a booming Alberta economy. The owners of land containing underground pipelines may not be able to take advantage of these opportunities due to the conditions placed on their lands. Currently, these landowners do not receive compensation for this use restriction other than the original payment during the installation process. The annual rental on the right of ways would provide some form of compensation for the limit of use for years to come.Adopting this resolution would enable us to approach the provincial government and request it to implement legislation requiring that pipeline companies with pipeline infrastructure in Alberta to pay annual rentals on land where their pipelines are located.This is an issue that not only affects private landowners, but many municipalities that are owners of land with pipelines as well.
Resolution 6-06F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to establish a Stakeholder Committee to identify guidelines regarding abandoned pipelines to maximize surface land use opportunities for future generations.Resolution 11-06S: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC request that in response to the abundance of existing pipelines and the accelerating rate at which wells are being produced, that the Provincial Government in consultation with a committee selected by the AAMDC initiate standards for the routing and monitoring of oil and gas pipelines to maximize surface land use opportunities for future generations.
The government’s initial response to this resolution indicated opposition to the changes proposed in this resolution. The AAMDC has continued to advocate on this issue. On July 15, 2008, the Government of Alberta announced that an MLA committee would assist the Alberta government with implementation of key priorities of Albertas Land-use Framework. One aspect of this committees work was a review of the Surface Rights Act. In early September 2008, the chair of this committee formally requested a copy of Digging Deeper. Digging Deeper is an AAMDC report that examines the Surface Rights Act, including compensation issues related to pipeline rights of way. Bill 12, the Surface Rights Amendment Act, was introduced in February 2009, but was administrative in nature and did not address annual lease payments. The AAMDC will continue to advocate on this issue and other issues contained in Digging Deeper, as it is expected that a more detailed review of the Surface Rights Act is forthcoming.