The AER's response to industry incidents and emergencies is based on information collected by the 24-hour Energy/Environmental Emergency and Operational Complaint Line at 1-800-222-6514. When a call is received by the AER it is triaged through both AER's Emergency Management Team and the Field Centre to determine the appropriate level of response by the AER.
Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements for the Petroleum Industry provides the framework and requirements to effectively manage incidents and emergency responses.
Our emergency response team is on standby to help energy companies manage all types of hazards and energy-related incidents; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we are prepared to help however we can.
When an incident happens, our role is to
- protect the health, safety, and welfare of people and wildlife; and
- limit damage to property and the environment.
We coordinate and assist the company responsible for the incident, and support local municipality and other provincial and federal responders. Our work ensures that the response is efficient, coordinated, and effective, ensuring that all our requirements are met.
How should a company respond?
We expect companies to be prepared before an incident happens. For instance, companies must develop emergency response plans and hold annual emergency exercises. An emergency response plan describes how a company will respond to an incident and can include details on
- public notification,
- evacuation of residents,
- spill or leak containment and recovery,
- sampling and monitoring,
- wildlife protection, and
- remedial measures, including environmental impact assessment and contamination management.
When an incident happens – like a pipeline breach, explosion, or a well blowout – the company must report it immediately. We expect a fast response to protect the health, safety, and welfare of people, and to limit damage to property and the environment. If the company does not respond, we will respond to the incident and take enforcement action against the company.
What if a company does not respond?
Trained AER staff will control the response if the company is not prepared or not capable of handling the incident. Our response experts are aided by cutting-edge technology: our mobile incident command trailer packs an array of gadgets to manage incidents and our air monitoring unit can sniff out sour gas and other emissions.
Please note that our response does not cover employee health, safety, and working conditions. These fall under the jurisdiction of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety.
Report an Incident
We monitor this phone line 24/7. It is used by both the AER and Alberta Environment and Parks for all energy development and environmental complaints in Alberta. When we receive a call, we notify the appropriate agency, and if the situation warrants, we will dispatch emergency responders.
Follow Our Updates
To keep Albertans informed, we publish details about incidents as they happen on our Compliance Dashboard. After the emergency is over, we continue to monitor the company’s clean-up activities to ensure that our requirements are met.
- Fact sheet: Responding to an Energy Incident
- Fact sheet: Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Response
- Resource story: Incident Response—When Prevention Becomes Intervention
- Resource story: Fighting Fire with Firepower