In the oil and gas regulatory sphere, Q2 marked the
implementation of the third and final phase of the Alberta Energy
Regulator's new mandate under the Responsible Energy Development
Act (REDA). In addition to the "energy
resources enactments" over which it previously had
jurisdiction in its former incarnation as the Energy Resources
Conservation Board, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)
has now assumed jurisdiction over various provisions in certain
"specified enactments", including the Public Lands Act,
the Environmental Protection and
Enhancement Act and the Water Act insofar as
those provisions relate to "energy resources activities"
(i.e. oil and gas operations and coal mining, but not power
generation or electricity transmission and distribution).
Whereas the proponents of energy resources projects previously
obtained Crown surface dispositions and environmental approvals
from Alberta Environment and Sustainable
Resource Development (AESRD), all requisite approvals
can now be obtained under the single umbrella of the AER. Whether
this will actually result in the intended efficiency gains of
one-stop-shopping remains to be seen as the AER is only just
beginning to dig itself out from under the thousands of
applications transferred over to it from AESRD.
Of interest in this new regime is the process for the handling
of Statements of Concern (SOC) filed under the REDA, previously
referred to as "objections" under the former Energy Resources Conservation
Act (ERCA). Whereas all persons who could
establish that they may be directly and adversely affected by the
regulator's disposition of the application were previously
granted standing and could thereby trigger a public hearing with
full participatory rights, it is now within the AER's
discretion to "disregard" a SOC under certain
circumstances set out in section 6.1 of the AER's Rules of Practice,
including where the AER is of the opinion that the concern has been
adequately dealt with or addressed through a hearing or other
proceeding under any other enactment or by a decision on another
In response to the new framework, we are now seeing a new series
of decisions from the AER dismissing SOCs at the initial stage and
resulting Regulatory Appeal requests in which interested parties
attempt to establish that they are an "eligible person"
capable of triggering a public hearing after the approvals have
already been granted and, potentially, relied upon. Generally
speaking, an "eligible person" is one who can demonstrate
that he or she is directly and adversely affected by the decision
It will be interesting to see whether the AER continues to treat
the "directly and adversely affected" test as its
predecessor previously did under the ERCA, with the result that
interested parties who would previously have triggered a hearing
prior to the issuance of approvals will now trigger hearings
thereafter and what practical implications this may have for AER
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
In Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench enforced the "immediate replacement" provision in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen 2007 Operating Procedure...
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).