- Exploration and production
- Oil sands
- Oil and Gas Services
- Post-secondary degree
About This Career
Oil and gas operations can contain extremely complex production or construction activities that are guided by strict environmental and regulatory guidelines and laws. These environmental laws and regulations help reduce the environmental impacts of the things we build. But, those laws wouldn’t mean much without people who know what they are and how to make sure that new projects conform to them. That’s where Environmental Planners come in.
The oil and gas industry in Canada works primarily on publicly owned lands and has a responsibility to plan for environmental impacts on that land. The industry also often operates near communities, which fall within the industry’s impacts. Environmental planners are responsible for developing short- and long-term plans for land use while balancing considerations such as social, economic and environmental issues. In the oil and gas industry, they contribute to regulatory planning through environmental impact assessments.
Environmental planners in oil and gas are typically involved in strategic resource development with a lens of community or regional-scaled planning. They often work across disciplines within their companies and also are involved with multiple external community sectors.
In this occupation, activities may include:
- Compiling and analyzing data on environmental, demographic, economic, legal, political, cultural, sociological, physical and other factors affecting land use.
- Supporting engagement efforts with Indigenous communities, stakeholders and regulatory agencies.
- Communicating and collaborating with other environmental and regulatory specialists to ensure consistency in project execution.
- Providing strategic environmental advice and project management throughout all stages of a project’s lifecycle including approval, construction, post-construction and operational management within both provincial and federal regulatory frameworks.
- Leading teams of technical environmental and engineering specialists to support the environmental assessment, application development and permitting processes.
- Generally environmental planners come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. Many have a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in planning or a related discipline such as urban studies, engineering, architecture, geography, forestry or economics.
- It is very common in oil and gas for an Environmental Planner to have a B.Sc or M.Sc. in environment related disciplines.
- Although it is not necessary to be certified in order to work as an environmental planner, many practitioners choose to belong to professional associations. The requirements for membership vary among provinces.
- Additional health and safety certifications may be required depending on employer requirements.
- Membership in the Canadian Institute of Planners may be required.
- Urban and land use planners are regulated in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and membership in a provincial planning institute may be required in other provinces.
- Information and Document Management
- Laws and Regulations
- Understanding Risk
- Cost Benefit Analysis
- Public Speaking
- Systems Evaluation and Analysis
- Complex Problem Solving
- Professional Judgment and Decision Making
- Managing Conflict
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Public administration
Related Careers in Oil & Gas
Also known as
- Environmental Assessment Analyst
- Land Use Planner
- Land Use Specialist
- Long-Range Planner - Land Use
- Regional Planner
Environmental Planner SpotlightPosted
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