Appeals

Appeals

What can be appealed?
Section 38 of Responsible Energy Development Act (REDA) allows for certain AER decisions to be appealed. These decisions include

  • when the AER makes a decision on an application under an energy resource or specified enactment without a hearing and
  • when the AER makes a decision under an energy resource or specified enactment that is appealable. This includes reclamation certificates and certain types of enforcement actions.

Types of decision deadlines and who may appeal
The following chart details what type of decisions may be appealed, who may file the appeal, and the deadlines for filing an appeal.
Note: The term “approval” is used as defined under REDA. Various types of approvals are issued under the legislation listed below, for example, licences, approvals, leases, authorizations, certificates, etc.

TYPE OF DECISIONS WHO CAN APPEAL APPEAL DEADLINES

Approvals issued under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act

Any eligible person*

30 calendar days after notice of the decision is issued

Approvals issued under the Coal Conservation Act

Any eligible person*

30 calendar days after notice of the decision is issued

Approvals issued under the Gas Resources Preservation Act

Any eligible person*

30 calendar days after notice of the decision is issued

Approvals issued under the Oil Sands Conservation Act

Any eligible person*

30 calendar days after notice of the decision is issued

Approvals issued under the Pipeline Act

Any eligible person*

30 calendar days after notice of the decision is issued

Approvals issued under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act

Any eligible person*

30 calendar days after notice of the decision is issued

Approvals issued under the Public Lands Act

Any eligible person*

30 calendar days after notice of the decision is issued

Approvals issued under the Water Act

Any eligible person*

30 calendar days after notice of the decision is issued

Enforcement orders or environmental protection orders issued under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act

Any eligible person*

7 calendar days from the date the enforcement order or environmental protection order was issued

Water management orders or enforcement orders issued under the Water Act

Any eligible person*

7 calendar days from the date the enforcement order was issued

Enforcement order for contraventions of provisions of Alberta Land Stewardship Act regional plan issued under the Public Lands Act

Any eligible person*

7 calendar days from the date the enforcement order was issued

Issuance or refusal of an approval to commence or continue an activity under the Water Act

Any eligible person*

7 calendar days after the notice of the order was issued

Removal of a thing, without warrant or order under the Public Lands Act, that in opinion of an officer causing or may cause loss or damage to land or anything in the land

Any eligible person*

No later than 3 hours after the thing is removed

Order to stop activity or land use on public land; demolish, remove, or replace improvements made or in the process of being made; other actions required so that the activity or land use on public land complies with the Public Lands Act

Any eligible person*

No later than 3 hours after the order is issued

Orders issued under the Public Lands Administration Regulation

Any eligible person*

7 calendar days after the notice of the order is issued

Reclamation certificate issued under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act

Any eligible person*

1 year after the reclamation certificate is issued

Order issued under the Coal Conservation Act, which include the following:

  • Order to shut down plant
  • Cancellation or suspension of approval or licence
  • Suspension of development or operations at the mine, coal processing plant, or in situ coal scheme

Any eligible person*

7 calendar days after the notice of order is issued

Orders issued under the Oil Sands Conservation Act, which include the following:

  • Stop orders
  • Cancellation of approvals

Any eligible person*

7 calendar days after the notice of order is issued

Orders issued under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act, which include:

  • Order to suspend or abandon a well or facility
  • Order to pay suspension costs, abandonment cost or reclamation costs
  • Order to shut down or close a well or facility

Any eligible person*

7 calendar days after the notice of order is issued

Orders issued under the Pipeline Act, which include:

  • Order to discontinue or abandon a pipeline
  • Order to pay discontinuation costs or abandonment costs
  • Order to suspend construction or operation

Any eligible person*

7 calendar days after the notice of order is issued

Administrative penalties imposed under the Responsible Energy Development Act

Any person required to pay an administrative penalty

30 calendar days after notice of the administrative penalty is issued

Any other appealable decision under the energy resource enactments or specified enactments

Any eligible person*

30 calendar days after notice of the decision is issued

* An eligible person is

  • any person who is directly and adversely affected by a decision of the AER under an energy resource enactment,
  • any person who is permitted under the specified enactments to file a notice of appeal under those enactments, or
  • any other person described in the regulation
Filing an appeal

A request for a regulatory appeal must be filed in accordance with regulatory timeframes and the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice. To file an appeal, complete the Request for Regulatory Appeal form.

The form and associated documents can be submitted by e-mail to RegulatoryAppeal@aer.ca, by fax to 403-297-7031, or by regular mail to
Alberta Energy Regulator
Regulatory Appeal Coordinator, Law Branch
Suite 1000, 250 - 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4

A person who files a request for regulatory appeal must provide a copy of the request for regulatory appeal to

  • the approval holder,
  • the registered owner of the land associated with the energy resource activity that is subject of the request of the regulatory appeal, and
  • any other person the regulator requires.

It should be noted that the regulator may dismiss the request for regulatory appeal if

  • the request does not relate to an appealable decision;
  • the request is not filed by an eligible person;
  • the regulator considers the request to be frivolous, vexatious, or without merit;
  • the regulator considers the request is not properly before it;
  • the requestor did not file a statement of concern in respect of an application;
  • the request for regulatory appeal was not filed within the specified time limits; or
  • the request for regulatory appeal was not in compliance with the information requirements set out in the AER Rules of Practice.

Withdrawing an appeal
Should a requestor decide not to proceed with an appeal, a written letter of withdrawal should be delivered to the AER (address provided above).

Alternative dispute resolution
Alternative dispute resolution is available in a regulatory appeal. The AER may request a dispute resolution meeting or direct a person to attend a dispute resolution meeting. In a regulatory appeal, alternative dispute resolution can include direct negotiation between the parties or can be conducted by an AER hearing commissioner.

Hearing of appeal
An AER hearing is a formal proceeding about an appealable decision.
If alternative dispute resolution is unsuccessful or if the appeal does not go to alternative dispute resolution, the AER will proceed to a hearing on the appeal. The hearing commissioners set the process for the hearing, at which they will hear the substantive issue of the appeal. The hearing may be written, oral, electronic, or some combination.

Decision
Within 90 days of the close of a hearing, the AER will publish the hearing panel’s written decision on the matter. The decision report outlines the position of all hearing participants and includes the panel’s decision and reasons for the decision. The decision report is then distributed to all parties and is made available on the AER’s website and through the AER’s Information Product Services Section.

Court of Appeal
An appeal of the AER’s decision may be made to the Alberta Court of Appeal on questions of jurisdiction or law, meaning whether the AER had the authority to make the decision or whether the AER erred in law. Permission to appeal the decision must be obtained from the Court of Appeal within one month after the panel’s decision report is issued. In certain circumstances, the court may grant an extension.

Important Notice:
The request for regulatory appeal must be filed by an “eligible person” and relate to an “appealable decision,” as defined in section 38 of REDA. For the specified enactments, these are listed in sections 211(a), (b), (c), and (g) through (n) of the Public Lands Administration Regulation; sections 115(1)(a)(i), (b)(i), (c)(i), (d) through (i), (m), and (p) through (r) of the Water Act; and sections 91(1)(a)(i), (b), (c), and (e) through (p) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

Please be aware that the information collected via the request for regulatory appeal is necessary to allow the AER to perform its function. The information is collected under the authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, section 33(c). Section 33(c) provides that personal information may only be collected if that information relates directly to and is necessary for the processing of your appeal. The information that you provide is a matter of public record.