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Rules and Directives

Fort McMurray Wildfire – Requirements of Licensees to Report Activities Conducted under Bulletin 2016-12

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Release Date: Nov 10, 2016

In response to the Fort McMurray wildfires, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) issued Bulletin 2016-12 on May 4, 2016. In that bulletin the AER provided blanket, conditional approval to Fort McMurray area licensees to protect their facilities and infrastructure if they were at risk of being in the fire path. The approvals permitted under Bulletin 2016-12 were conditional on such work not having any adverse public or environmental impacts. In Bulletin 2016-20 dated July 7, 2016, the AER reminded area licensees and operators that they are required to retain information and documentation of work that was related to the protection of facilities and infrastructure in connection with the fires, and to provide the information and documentation to the AER on request.

The purpose of this bulletin is to notify all licensees and operators who completed work for the protection of infrastructure and facilities that they are required to report those activities to the AER. This information is necessary so the AER can determine what, if any, authorizations, approvals, or licences may be required for activities conducted in response to Bulletin 2016-12. The information provided must include the following for each activity conducted under Bulletin 2016-12:

1) a sketch plan, using temporary field authorization sketch plan standards showing the activity areas (boundaries) in relation to existing dispositions;

2) a shapefile (projection NAD83,10TM) containing the boundary identified in the sketch plan above;

3) a summary table showing the size of the activity area both on and off of the disposition area (if applicable);

4) a description of the methodology used to determine the location and size of the activity;

5) woody debris management  that has occurred or is proposed to occur for vegetation that has been removed;

6) any adverse public or environmental issues, such as erosion or stability issues caused by the activities;

7) any impacts on soil in existing stockpiles or in a previously undisturbed area that may impact reclamation materials balance or the quality of this material;

8) disclosure of the use of straw as a means of erosion control;

9) a description of any potential impacts on future reclamation  plans of loss of or damage to potential seed source areas; and

10) if activities conducted by AER licensees require or required  approvals, licences, or permits under legislation that is not administered by AER, confirmation that such approval has been obtained from or waived by the applicable regulatory authority or agency.


The information requested above is to be sent to by January 3, 2017

On receipt of the required information, AER staff will review and determine the next course of action, which may include inspections by AER staff. The AER’s response may vary depending upon the type, location, and extent of the activity that has occurred. The response may include an AER requirement for additional actions, mitigation measures, or submission of a formal application for the activity.

For more information, please email

<original signed by>

Rob Borth
Acting Vice President
Authorizations Branch