Legal Header

AER Board Chair, David Goldie, Provides Kearl Review Update

On May 11th, following a rigorous RFP process, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)'s Audit and Finance Committee, on behalf of the Board of Directors, engaged Deloitte LLP to conduct an independent review of the AER’s actions in handling the Imperial Oil Kearl seepage and spill incidents.

The review will begin in May and take about 90 days to complete. Deloitte will examine AER’s current response and notification policies and procedures, including internal and external communications protocols, to determine any issues or gaps in AER’s actions in handling the Kearl seepage and spill and, if so, provide recommendations for improvement.

In the spirit of openness, honesty and transparency, the Board will publicly share the review’s findings once completed and the Board has considered the recommendations and follow-up actions.

March 28, 2023 - AER Board Chair, David Goldie, Announces Kearl Review

At our March 16, 2023, meeting, the Board of Directors of the Alberta Energy Regulator decided to commission an impartial, third-party review into certain aspects of the AER’s response to incidents at Imperial Oil’s Kearl facilities that took place between May 2022 and February 2023. Today, the board will issue a request for quotation (RFQ) seeking a qualified, impartial, third-party body to conduct this review.

The terms of the RFQ relate to potential issues with notification and timing of notification to Indigenous communities and other stakeholders and other potential process issues. In the spirit of transparency and as an opportunity to demonstrate that the regulator is both credible and trustworthy, the findings of the review will be shared publicly.

I have been in regular contact with AER CEO Laurie Pushor, and he assures me he welcomes this third-party review both as an opportunity for an independent recounting of the facts surrounding the AER’s response and as an opportunity for the AER to learn and grow as applicable.

The board expects the review to take about 90 days from the award of the contract and will have no further comment until such time as it has reviewed the final findings.