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As synergy groups progress beyond the set-up phase, there are many other activities they can undertake to further their goals. Many groups move toward more formal structures and process than they had in their early stages, while other groups look to develop documents to guide industry development in their communities or provide information to residents and landowners in their area.
Best Management Practices (BMPs), Best Practices (BPs) or Recommended Practices (RPs) are all similar. Under any title, BMPs are practices to guide industry activity in the area the synergy group represents.
BMPs are always, and should be always, specific to a community. The strength of these documents lie in their ability to address specific issues or concerns in a specific community. This allows BMPs to recognize what makes each community unique. One community might have a sensitive wildlife area such as a wetland, lake, or tract of undisturbed forest, while another might have rural schools that companies need to be aware of.
Here are links to some sample BMP documents provided to us by various Synergy Groups. These documents serve as a good starting point and can save time and effort versus starting from scratch.
Synergy Alberta recommends contacting the creator/author of any documents listed here to ensure you can use or alter any part of the document and that you have the most up-to-date version.
- Calumet Best Management Practices (handbook format)
- Central Mountain View Action Group (CMAG):
- Surveyors [.pdf]
- Land Agents [.pdf]
- Land spraying [.pdf]
- Drilling for Shallow Gas and Natural Gas from Coal [.pdf]
- Sundre Petroleum Operators Group (SPOG):
- Code of Conduct [.pdf]
- Bylaws [.pdf]
- B Pool Performance Measures [.pdf]
- Refer to the SPOG website for more best practices on Testing and Releasing Water from Secondary Containment System, Fluid Transportation, Flaring and Noise
- SPOG Process Maps - Spog established flow charts or steps to assist and manage complaints and new developments in their area. Process maps help to achieve consistent steps in dealing with issues that arise.
- Complaint Log
- New Development Log [.xls]
Industry and government driven BMPs:
- Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Guides and Best Management Practices (publications catalogue)
- Land Use Planning for Pipelines [.pdf]
- Water Well Testing for Seismic [.pdf]
- Migratory Bird Report [.pdf]
- Watercourse Crossing [.pdf]
- Forest Soils Conservation [.pdf]
Occasionally, a unique approach is applied to either start a group, respond to a concern or problem-solve an issue. Here are some examples of pilot projects undertaken in Alberta in connection with synergy groups.
- ERCB Collaborative Land Pilot Initiative - an early engagement approach used within select regions of heightened oil and gas development in the province. Led by the ERCB, it is a practical means of addressing community concerns prior to companies entering the formal application process. The approach is designed to benefit both industry and members of the public who live and operate in a specified area. It is currently being tested in a pilot phase.
- Aberdeen Township Pilot Project
- Carstairs Township 30-28W4M Pilot Project
- The Battle Lake Watershed Synergy Group Development Planning Pilot Project - a unique project to find solutions and practices that avoid and mitigate the effects of oil and gas development in a sensitive watershed area.
Forming a Board
The board's role derives from its responsibility for overall governance of the organization and the recognition that board members are volunteers with limited knowledge of the operations of the organization. In the planning process, the board is responsible for clarifying organizational values, defining the vision and mission of the organization as a whole, setting medium-to-long-range goals for the organization, and selecting strategies that will enable the organization to achieve its goals while remaining faithful to the beliefs and principles that guide organizational behaviors. (Source: Nathan Garber & Associates)
- Board Accountability discussion paper
- Tools for Organizations
- Board development training, accountability, and governance in the Canadian voluntary sector
- Alberta Community Development
- Board Development Program
- Board Source
- Effective Committees (see the free management library)
- Evaluating Board Performance (excellent guidelines from University of Wisconsin)
- Free Complete Toolkit for Boards
- Free Management Library for nonprofits and for-profits
- Checklist of Nonprofit Organizational Indicators
- Standard Committee Terms of Reference
- Governance Committee-Sample Terms of Reference
- Great Links for Nonprofit Organizations
- Mentoring Canada (Excellent!)
- Workshop on Workshops Manual [.pdf] (from Washington Library Association)
Lakeland Industry & Community Association (LICA) Board Manuals (samples in PDF format):