Statement of Concern

A statement of concern is a written submission that outlines specific concerns about an application that has been submitted to the AER.

As outlined in section 32 of the Responsible Energy Development Act, any person who believes they may be directly and adversely affected by an application may file a statement of concern.

The following summarizes the information the AER requires and the process to follow when filing statements of concern about a specific application. It includes links to relevant submission procedures and guidance documents.

Processes not included in this documentation:

Regulatory Appeals
If you have concerns after an application has been approved, you may be able to request a regulatory appeal under section 38 of the Responsible Energy Development Act. The filing requirements and process for a regulatory appeal request, including form, content, and time limits, are set out in sections 30 through 33 of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice.

Preapplication Concerns
If you have preapplication concerns about a proposed activity, you should submit them directly to the company. You may also submit concerns to the AER’s Stakeholder and Government Relations Division (SGR) by e-mail at stakeholder.engagement@aer.ca. We expect applicants to send the notice of application directly to anyone who has previously raised concerns about the proposed energy development or activity to give them time to submit a formal statement of concern. For more information please see our Preapplication Concern Fact Sheet.

Submission

All applications are published on the Public Notice of Application (PNoA) page on the AER website to encourage public participation in the approval process. Applications filed with the AER in the last 30 days are searchable by keyword or location; they fall under two broad categories: expedited and non-expedited.

Expedited applications

  • The public notice does not state a deadline for filing statements of concern.
  • Statements of concern can be submitted at any time before the AER makes a decision on the application,
  • The AER can make a decision on the application immediately.

Non-expedited applications

  • The public notice states a deadline for filing statements of concern.
  • Statements of concern can be submitted at any time before the specified deadline.
  • The AER will decide whether to permit the late filing of statements of concern submitted after the deadline date.
  • The AER cannot make a decision on the application until after the deadline stated in the public notice for filing a statement of concern has elapsed.

We expect applicants to send the notice of application directly to anyone who has previously raised concerns about the proposed energy development or activity to give them time to submit a formal statement of concern. If you still have concerns once the application is filed, you must submit a statement of concern, even if you previously raised preapplication concerns.

When filing a statement of concern with the AER, it is important to include enough information for it to be registered. As outlined in section 6 of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice, a statement of concern must include the following information:

  • The application number
  • The name and contact information of the filer
  • The name of the company proposing the activity or development
  • The type of project (e.g., well, pipeline, etc.)
  • The location of the proposed activity and the location of the filer’s land
  • A summary of concerns
  • How the application may directly and adversely affect the filer
  • The outcome that the filer advocates

Statements of concern must be submitted to the applicant as well as to the AER at ARCTeam@aer.ca.

Our application process is public. This includes statements of concern that are placed on the public record, unless a request for confidentiality is filed under section 49(2) of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice.

Review Process Summary for Statements of Concern

Registration

  • Statements of concern are registered using the Integrated Application Registry (IAR).
  • All correspondence and application documents relating to the statement of concern are stored in this system.
  • The filer and applicant receive notification that the statement of concern was registered, the unique number assigned to the statement, and the number of the application that the statement of concern applies to.

Statement of Concern Application Review

  • A statement of concern will be considered during our review of the application.
  • We may ask the filer for more information.
  • We may ask the applicant for a written response addressing the concerns.
  • Based on many criteria, the group director decides whether to recommend a hearing on an application.
  • The filer and applicant receive notification of the decision.

Recent Process Changes and Improvements

  • The AER no longer accepts statements of concern before an application is received.
  • Preapplication concerns are managed through the Stakeholder and Government Relations Division.
  • Applicants are expected to send a copy of the notice of application to those who have raised concerns.

Timelines

The processing time from receipt of a statement of concern to notification of registration is two business days. The AER aims to meet these targets 95 per cent of the time.

Each statement of concern is unique, as is each application, and application details are carefully reviewed. As a result, review process timelines will vary to ensure that we continue to meet our mandate for efficient, safe, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of energy resources.