CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Dec. 2, 2013) - The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has taken on additional regulatory functions under the Responsible Energy Development Act, including responsibility for the Public Lands Act and Part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act for all oil, gas, oil sands and coal development in the province. The AER has also launched the Private Surface Agreements Registry and expanded public notice of applications.
"Alberta is committed to building a robust and efficient regulatory system to support continued growth and environmental management," said Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Minister Diana McQueen. "The new process ensures a thoughtful and common sense approach that will uphold strict environmental standards while ensuring landowners have more direct control in how they deal individually with the regulator."
"This is a crucial step towards providing full life-cycle energy regulation and becoming a best-in-class regulator," said President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Ellis. "Now that we have completed the second phase of transitioning to the Alberta Energy Regulator, we can focus our attention on assuming responsibility for the water and environmental acts by the spring of 2014."
Effective November 30, 2013, the AER is responsible for issuing, amending, maintaining, and inspecting all land approvals for energy activities under the Public Lands Act. Under Part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act, the AER will approve, maintain and inspect seismic exploration programs in Alberta, related to oil and gas.
The AER has also launched the Private Surface Agreements Registry, which provides landowners or occupants of land with the opportunity to register their agreements made after November 30, 2013, with the AER. If a landowner feels a company is not meeting a term or condition of the agreement, they may ask the AER to determine if the company has met the terms.
Furthering the AER's commitment to designing and operating a transparent regulatory system, the AER has launched a new webpage that provides public notice for energy applications. Notices will be provided for applications for oil and gas wells, pipelines, coal, oil sands, in situ, facilities applications, and those pertaining to energy development on public lands.
"As we take on new responsibilities, we renew our commitment to ensuring that the development of our province's resources is done safely," said Ellis. "The AER will continue to ensure operators comply with all regulatory requirements and that appropriate enforcement action is applied when they don't."
The Alberta Energy Regulator ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.
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The Alberta Energy Regulator expanded its authority over oil, gas, oil sands and coal projects today. The AER takes responsibility for energy authorizations and inspection activities under the Public Lands Act and Part 8 of the Mines and Minerals Act and launches a new Private Surface Agreements Registry for landowners in the province available at www.aer.ca.