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Timelines for Processing Public Lands Act Applications

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Release Date: July 29, 2014

This bulletin announces improved and consistent processing times for Public Lands Act (PLA) applications submitted to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). The timelines are presented in the table below. 

Application type Processing timeline
(business days)
Regular authorizations  
Enhanced Approval Process (EAP) standard 30
EAP nonstandard 45
Oil and gas environmental field report (EFR) 60a
Major projects EFR 90a
Oil sands exploration (OSE) program and coal exploration program (CEP) 60a
Temporary field authorization 5


Renewal TBDc

-      No entry
-      Reclamation certification




a Includes the 30-day period to submit a statement of concern.
b Changes to the systems that handle PLA applications need to be made before processing timelines can be established for maintenance activities.
c TBD = to be determined.

Criteria for Timelines

These timelines are based on the submission of a complete and accurate application. A complete application includes

  • all required consents and
  • for EAP standard and nonstandard applications and temporary field authorizations, a First Nations consultation adequacy decision. 
  • Incomplete applications will be rejected and applicants will need to reapply.

The processing timelines do not include delays or time spent on such activities as

  • waiting for information from the applicant (e.g., the First Nations consultation adequacy decision, if required, or clarification about the application);
  • resolving concerns raised in statements of concerns;
  • dealing with referrals to government agencies (municipal, provincial, or federal); or
  • waiting for associated dispositions or approvals (e.g., approvals under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act or Oil Sands Conservation Act).

Contact Information

General inquiries about this bulletin
@email or 1-855-297-8311.

Technical questions about application requirements  

Technical questions about an approved OSE program or CEP 
Land-use officer in the region where the program is located. (See the AER’s website,, for a map of the land-use field centres.) 

The AER will be hosting one or more industry information sessions on the winter drilling season that will include an overview of the PLA timelines. Details will be provided in the next few weeks.

<original signed by>

Rob Wadsworth
Vice President
Authorizations Branch