FORT NELSON, B.C. – The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission will be restoring former oil and gas industry sites to their natural state, as part of a partnership with First Nations of Northeastern B.C.
The OGC will be restoring former sites by utilizing funding from the B.C. Oil and Gas Research and Innovation Society and will be working with the Fort Nelson First Nation to restore borrow pits in the Clarke Lake area.
According to the Commission, they will be restoring the former industry sites by using ecologically suitable and culturally appropriate restoration techniques.
During the summer of 2018, the project working group initiated field sampling and site-specific prescriptions.
OGC says earth work followed in the early fall and was completed by the FNFN’s contractor and employees.
According to OGC, Native plant seeds collected during the early fall were provided to a local nursery in preparation for spring planting.
FNFN Chief, Curtis Dickie, says these projects show that the First Nations are taking environmental responsibilities to the next level, adding that these projects are a great source of employment.
“This opportunity is an example of First Nation’s people taking our environmental responsibilities to the next level. These projects will provide our people with employment and with the state of the local economy the partnership is very uplifting and we hope this partnership can be used as an example and create other opportunities to collaborate with the Commission going forward.”
Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, says this type of restoration work is part of the reconciliation process with First Nations to build a better future.
“Our government is dedicated to reconciliation, and we are working with First Nations to build a better future. With this initiative, we are partnering with the Fort Nelson First Nation to make sure to protect the environment and restore oil and gas sites.”
OGC is also working with other Treaty 8 First Nations to launch pilot projects, funded through OGRIS and the Orphan Site Reclamation Fund, to jointly explore restoration practices on orphan oil and gas well sites in their territories.