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On June 1, 2024, the BC Energy Regulator (BCER) will become the single regulatory agency for issuing Heritage Conservation Act (HCA) permits and orders for inspections and investigations related to energy resource activities.

DATE ISSUED: Jan. 31, 2024

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 1, 2024

The BCER has specified permitting authorities under the HCA through the Energy Resource Activities Act (ERAA). BCER’s Heritage Conservation Program effectively regulates archaeological work through consultation with First Nations, field inspections, development of industry standards, and established audit processes.

On December 11, 2023, the Energy Resource Activities Act was amended to extend the BCER’s permitting authority under the HCA. These amendments become effective on June 1, 2024.

When the amendment comes into effect, energy resource companies will submit applications to the BCER for permits to conduct archaeological inspections and investigations. The permit applications will be required to be supported by a professional archaeologist. Prior to the amendment, the Archaeology Branch of the Ministry of Forests issued these types of permits to a professional archaeologist, and BCER staff monitored the work, per an agreement between the agencies. Permits issued by the Archaeology Branch before June 1, 2024, will remain in effect until they expire.

The BCER and the Archaeology Branch are working together to ensure an efficient transition of authorities. In early 2024, information will be posted on the BCER website, and information sessions will be scheduled for First Nations, energy resource companies, and archaeologists, to support the transition.

If you have any questions regarding this Information Update, please contact:

BC Energy Regulator

Megan Charters
Manager, Heritage Conservation Program

Archaeology Branch, Ministry of Forests
Nathan Friesen

Manager of Commercial and Resource Development
250-953-3306 / 250-953-3334

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