EDMONTON — The Government of Alberta is opening its Environmental Historical Enforcement Search for free use by the public.
Since 1996 searches were completed by the Environmental Law Centre (ELC) for a $75 fee per enforcement action search. Users requesting document searches will now be connected to the new site.
“Making environmental historical enforcement records accessible through this web-based service demonstrates this government’s commitment to transparency, reducing red tape, improving efficiencies and eliminating the cost to Albertans,” provincial Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon said in a statement.
Enforcement action records include Environmental Regulatory Service of Alberta Environment and Parks under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and its predecessor legislation, including the Hazardous Chemicals Act, Agriculture Chemicals Act, Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, dating back to 1971, and/or pursuant to the Water Act from 1999 onward.
The Alberta government is touting the shift to a free service as part of its “red tape reduction” pledge.
“These changes make the delivery of online services simpler, easier, and more cost-effective for government and Albertans. By changing how records are searched, we can shorten wait times, streamline the administrative burden on local businesses and make life better for Albertans,” provincial associate minister of red tape reduction Tanya Fir added.
In 2020, there were 4,238 search requests completed. In 2019, there were 5,549 search requests completed. Albertans accessing environmental enforcement history records include realtors, lawyers, educational institutions, financial institutions, members of the media and members of the public.