BC Oil and Gas Commission Launches Mediation Program
Tuesday, February, 19, 2019
The BC Oil and Gas Commission has launched a mediation service that will allow and owners to mediate disagreements with companies regarding complaints and site restoration post permit. The program will provide support and the opportunity to mediate these disputes.
The Commission saw a need for support once its role in engagement expanded and determined that a process was needed to resolve issues with the permitting process and the differences throughout the lifecycle of energy needs.
According to the Commission, the mediation program will be overseen by a mediator from the Commission, but will be independent of the Commission’s decision-making process. Mediation will be confidential and provided free of charge. It is available for land owners and industry professionals who have disputes with the Commission’s regulatory jurisdiction. It will be limited to those who have activity on their property for the foreseeable future while it is a pilot program.
Referrals to the program will usually be given by Commission employees, including inspectors who realize mediation might be useful for resolving disputes between land owners and the Commission. Those who are unsure if they are eligible for the mediation program are invited to contact the BC Gas and Oil.
The goal of the program, aside from resolving disputes, is to contribute to the Commission’s transparency and responsiveness. It is also intended to respect those who are affected by energy resource development.
The program will remain a pilot program for at least one year and then be re-evaluated to determine its effectiveness and whether it will continue.