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New Authorizations Process to Implement the Alberta Wetland Policy

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Release Date: November 01, 2017


The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is responsible for ensuring that oil and gas activities comply with the Alberta Wetland Policy. The goal of the policy is to conserve, restore, protect, and manage Alberta’s wetlands to sustain the benefits they provide to the environment, society, and the economy.

Effective January 2, 2018, authorizations under the Water Act, Public Lands Act, and Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) for projects that will have permanent or temporary impacts on wetlands will contain approval conditions related to policy. These conditions may capture commitments by the applicant on minimizing wetland loss and reclaiming or replacing wetlands.

The AER has previously directed applicants to submit their wetlands assessment to the AER by email to @email. Under this new authorization process, applicants are to submit their assessments with their Water Act application or, if it is associated with any of the following activities on public lands, with their Public Lands Act application:

  • oil sands or coal exploration; or
  • water monitoring wells, water production wells, experimental monitoring wells, or observation wells.

The new authorizations process applies to proposed energy activities with permanent or temporary impacts to wetlands outside of

  • an approved project boundary in place prior to July 4, 2016, including a Water Act approval boundary, Public Lands Act disposition boundary, or EPEA approval boundary; or
  • the local study area of an environmental impact assessment deemed complete by July 4, 2016.

Information on the policy, along with detailed application requirements, can be found on the Alberta Environment and Parks website at Alberta Wetland Policy Implementation.

The AER, along with Alberta Environment and Parks, is offering industry sessions on the new authorizations process. To register, click on the Eventbrite links below:

Calgary sessions (two)

Location: Centennial Place West Tower, 3rd Floor, Foothills Room, 250 – 5 St. SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0R4
Date: Friday, November 10, 2017
Session 1: 9 a.m. to noon
Session 2: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Edmonton session (one)

Location: Alberta Energy Regulator, Edmonton Regional Office, Room 472, 4999 – 98 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB T6B 2X3
(Please sign-in with security on the second floor.)
Date: Monday, November 27, 2017, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


For more information about this bulletin, please email @email or call the Customer Contact Centre at 1-855-297-8311.

<original signed by>

Andrew MacPherson
Acting Vice President
Authorizations Branch