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The board chair of the Alberta Energy Regulator says he’s stepping down from the job in September.

David Goldie says it’s a good time to take on new challenges as he approaches the five-year mark at the watchdog agency.

Mr. Goldie joined the AER in 2019 when the board was given the mandate to reform the organization’s governance and make it more streamlined.

He says he’s satisfied with where the regulator is now and that it’s on a good path forward.

The AER has been criticized for how it informed the public and local First Nations about the release of millions of litres of oilsands wastewater from Imperial Oil’s Kearl mine in northern Alberta in 2022.

A third-party report the agency commissioned determined the regulator followed its rules, but that those rules were significantly lacking.

After that report was released in September, Mr. Goldie said the Kearl situation was unusual because it wasn’t an emergency like a sudden pipeline break, but a seepage that happened over time.

He promised the regulator would be more pro-active in the future about communicating with area residents.

“The bar has to move here,” he said.

“A much larger range of incidents need to be reported. It’s not good enough any more to say the operator is responsible and assume they’ve fulfilled their duty.”

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