Legal Header

When the AER was created in 2013, following the passing of the Responsible Energy Development Act, we accepted all the energy regulatory functions that were previous held by our predecessor, the Energy Resources Conservation Board, as well as those previously held by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (now Alberta Environment and Parks; AEP) related to public lands, water, and the environment. With this transition, we also became responsible for several sections of provincial legislation previously administered by AEP.

Today, we review and approve energy applications in accordance with the following legislation. For a complete list of the provincial legislation we use to make decisions, please visit our Acts, Rules, and Regulations page.

Mines and Minerals Act
The Mines and Minerals Act governs the management and disposition of rights for Crown-owned mines and minerals. The act is jointly administered by Alberta Energy, Alberta Environment and Parks, and the AER.

Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act
The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act supports and promotes the protection, enhancement, and wise use of the environment. We review the potential harms a proposed energy project may have on the environment and determine if safe development can happen.

Water Act
The Water Act supports and promotes the conservation and management of water in Alberta. We are responsible for reviewing Water Act applications and submissions related to the energy industry.

Public Lands Act
The Public Lands Act ensures that energy exploration, development, and ongoing operations on public lands are carried out in a responsible manner. We are responsible for governing the act as it relates to oil, gas, oil sands, and coal activity.