As our Integrated Decision Approach to energy regulation continues to change the way companies apply to carry out their energy projects, companies will need to change the way they engage with Albertans and indigenous peoples.
In the fall of 2017, we met with Albertans and indigenous communities across the province to understand how they wanted companies to engage with them about proposed energy development. We’ve taken their feedback and are now developing new participant involvement requirements and processes under our new approach.
"Participant involvement" is an umbrella term that encompasses all interactions and communication between Albertans, indigenous peoples, companies, and the AER.
Companies Must Have a Plan
Companies are currently required to develop a participant involvement plan that considers those whose rights may be directly and adversely affected by a proposed application. This plan must be developed and implemented before an application is filed and must include
- distributing the applicant’s information package and required AER publications;
- responding to questions and concerns; and
- discussing options, alternatives, and mitigating measures.
Participant involvement does not end with our approval and issuance of a licence; rather, it must continue throughout the life cycle of an energy project. Early involvement and informal discussions between Albertans, indigenous communities, and companies may lead to project plans with fewer environmental, social, economic, and cultural concerns, and ultimately, projects with fewer adverse impacts.