Public Lands Act

As Alberta grows and prospers, the amount of activity on our public lands grows with it. Whether it’s for work or play, the Public Lands Act ensures that activity is safe, orderly, and protects the land for future generations. When the land is harmed, the Public Lands Act has enforcement and compliance provisions.

More than 60 per cent of Alberta’s land mass is public land, meaning it is not privately owned and is not a provincial park. Much of our province’s oil and gas activity takes place on public land. Ensuring that this activity occurs in a safe, sustainable, orderly, and environmentally responsible manner has been the responsibility of Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP).

Under the Responsible Energy Development Act, the AER takes over this jurisdiction as it relates to oil, gas, oil sands, and coal activity. The AER will carry out this responsibility to ensure that energy exploration, development, and ongoing operations on public land are carried out in a responsible manner and in accordance with legislation. Specifically, the AER will be issuing, amending, maintaining, and inspecting all land-use dispositions and authorizations for energy activities. The AER will continue to work closely with AEP as co-managers of public land.

Frequently Asked Questions
As this transition represents a significant shift for affected stakeholders, the AER has developed a Frequently Asked Questions to help answer your questions.

New Public Notice of Application
The AER is committed to keeping Albertans informed about what’s happening on public lands in the province. The AER provides public notice for public land applications for energy-related activities that are filed with the AER. Please visit the public notice of applications tool.

Publication of Decisions
All decisions made by the AER with respect to activity on public lands, including when a disposition application is rejected, refused to issue issued and when a development has been found in noncompliance, will be posted on the AER website.