The Province of Alberta has the authority to pass and enforce environmental laws addressing agriculture, hydroelectric developments, mining, agriculture, local nature, civil rights and property (Environmental Law, 2007). Because the Province owns most of the natural resources within its borders, it is also responsible for laws addressing environmental impacts resulting from the exploration or removal of these resources.
Three provincial acts are directly relevant to the protection of aquatic environments in the oil sands region. The Water Act, Climate Change and Emissions Management Act, and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act are described briefly in the following sections. The Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement (1997) is a legally binding agreement that commits Alberta to work with other provincial and territorial governments to manage the waters of the Mackenzie River basin. More information on this agreement can be found here.
Albertan legislative materials have been made available under the Queen's Printer Copyright Permission (see image, right).