What is the new public lands formal disposition application process for the Alberta Energy Regulator?
A. Effective April 28, 2017, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), in collaboration with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), has updated the application requirements and information technology (IT) for Public Lands Act formal disposition applications. Clients will experience a new look and feel to the electronic disposition system (EDS) and the landscape analysis tool (LAT), which are the IT systems used for Public Lands Act formal disposition applications. Application information will now be provided to AEP and the AER through a web-based system.
The new process will be referred to as the public lands disposition application (PLDA) process.It includes all AER formal disposition applications formerly processed under the enhanced approval process (EAP) and the environmental field report (EFR) process. Please refer to the Alberta Environment and Parks website for more information on the PLDA process: http://aep.alberta.ca/forms-maps-services/industry-online-services/public-lands-dispositions/default.aspx.
A formal disposition is defined in the Public Lands Administration Regulation (PLAR) and includes the following:
Oil sands exploration programs, coal exploration programs, and geophysical applications are NOT considered under this new process.
Q. How will the PLDA process work?
A. EDS will now consider an application based on its purpose and activity, which will dictate which supplement forms must be completed for the application.
The supplements, in question-answer format, are to be completed using the information from the LAT report as well as the information provided by the applicant. See Public Lands Administration Regulation (PLAR) Table A2 for information about AER formal disposition purposes and their activity codes.
Q. Who do I contact if I have questions about the PLDA process for AER applications?
A. Send any inquiries about AER applications to the public lands disposition application mailbox at PLDAInquiries@aer.ca.
You will receive a response within 48 hours.
Q. What disposition tenure terms are being considered under the PLDA process?
A. An initial disposition issued through the PLDA process will generally have a four-year term. Upon an amendment or renewal of a disposition, a 10 to 25 year term will be considered if the site has been entered.
Pipelines are exceptions and are not given a specific tenure term.
PLAR outlines the maximum term that can be granted for specific formal disposition types.
Depending on the purpose and activity code, the term is subject to change. Dispositions for activities such as mining and in situ may be given longer initial terms.
Q. What is an application supplement number?
A. This is a number that is generated once a supplement is created through the new EDS supplement module.
The AS# is unique to each supplement created and allows EDS to match the supplement to the application. This number does NOT change.
Q. What are the key changes to the application supplements?
A. All applications will now require an application supplement. An application supplement provides specific information in support of an application/amendment submission to EDS. New supplements have been created to address purpose and activity types. The new application supplements were designed considering the former EAP supplements where appropriate.
Applications that do not meet the approval standards outlined in their LAT report must be accompanied by an application supplement with mitigation.
Application supplements are now web-based fillable documents within EDS. When an application supplement is created, it will be issued an application supplement number (AS#).
Once an application is submitted through EDS, the supplement will be locked for review and can no longer be edited.
A supplemental information request will be sent to the applicant if the AER requests a mitigation strategy revision. The applicant will receive notice by the unique AS# indicating that the supplement has been unlocked and is accessible for editing. Once the revision is complete, the applicant must resubmit the document through EDS. Once resubmitted, the application supplement will be locked.
Please Note: Only the mitigation strategy information can be edited in the system.
Q. Does the application supplement expire?
A. There is no expiry date on application supplements.
Q. What does the “AS” stand for within the LAT approval conditions?
A. It stands for approval standard.
Q. Can I fix an error in the supplement after I have submitted it with an application?
A. No. Once an application is submitted, the supplement cannot be edited. The applicant can only edit supplements after they have been submitted if the AER requests revisions.
Q. Are there different application supplements for amendments?
A. No. The application supplements required for amendment applications are the same supplements used for new disposition applications.
Q. How many LAT reports and application supplements can I create?
A. There are no limits on the number of LAT reports or application supplements the applicant can create.
Q. Is there an application supplement user’s manual for me to reference?
A. Yes. Refer to the EDS Application Supplement User Guide posted on the Alberta Environment and Parks website.
Q. Can I still use my current EAP supplements as an attachment?
A. No. Applicants are required to use application supplements created in the new supplement module for applications made on or after April 28, 2017.
Q. Can I still provide my completed EFR as an attachment?
A. As of April 28, 2017, the AER will no longer be accepting EFRs. The information from the EFRs will need to be populated into the web-based supplement form.
Q. Will supplements still be available in PDF format?
A. EDS requires all supplements to be generated using the supplement module. The applicant will still be required to download and attach the completed supplement as a PDF document. Enhancements to the system are being considered to limit the amount of information that needs to be attached to an application.
Completed supplements can be downloaded and printed from the supplement module.
Q. How do I amend my disposition that was previously issued through the EAP or EFR process?
A. All amendment applications, regardless of whether they were previously submitted through the EAP or EFR process, will now be submitted through the EDS and will require a LAT report and an application supplement.
Q. When does a file number of consultation need to be provided with an AER application?
A. A file number for consultation (FNC) is to be obtained and provided with an application. For a formal disposition application to be accepted, the FNC provided must indicate that the consultation process has reached a specific stage. The stage of consultation that an FNC is required to have reached when an application is submitted depends on the disposition type and the purpose/activity being applied for. See Public Lands Administration Regulation (PLAR) Table A2 for information about AER formal disposition purposes and their activity code. This change is effective immediately.
For more information, please refer to section 5.5 (Step One - Pre-Application) of the Formal Disposition Application Process posted on the Alberta Environment and Parks website.
Q. Are renewal application requirements or processes changing?
A. Yes, EDS will not allow the submission of a renewal application if the disposition has expired. If you have an expired disposition, please email the AER at AERSurfaceActivityApplication@aer.ca.
Q. What key changes are occurring with landscape analysis tool requirements?
A. A LAT report is now mandatory for all new and amendment applications submitted through EDS. For more information on how to use the LAT, please refer to the Landscape Analysis Tool (LAT) User Guide.
Q. There is no LAT # in the new supplements. Does this mean I can reuse the LAT report and supplement if my application is rejected?
A. There are no changes in the process regarding reusing information. LAT reports and supplements that have previously been used in a new application cannot be used in subsequent applications.
Applicants can reuse the LAT report and supplement from rejected amendment applications if it is still appropriate and within the timeline for a valid LAT report.
Q. For how long is my LAT report valid?
A. A LAT report generated after April 28, 2017, will be valid for four months. A LAT report older than four months will be rejected.
EDS will verify that the LAT number in the application matches the corresponding LAT report.
Q. Are written consent requirements for the AER changing?
A. No. All consent requirements will remain the same. Please see PLAR and the consent submissions procedure outlined in AER Bulletin 2015-02.
Q. Will the integrated standards and guidelines still be used?
A. No. The integrated standards and guidelines have been amalgamated with the master schedule of conditions. This combined document is now referred to as the Master Schedule of Standards and Conditions.
Q. Will I need to create a new encrypted plan after April 28, 2017?
Q. Will I require new shape files for LAT after April 28, 2017?
A. Applicants will still be able to use shape files created before system upgrades for use in LAT. However, applicants will need to update the attributes of the shapefile, re-upload them and generate a new LAT report after April 28, 2017.
Q. Are there any changes to the plan confirmation service?
Q. Will the system upgrade affect user IDs and passwords?
Q. Are there changes to formal disposition documents that were previously issued?
A. Yes, the previously issued short- and long-term approval documents and letters of authority will no longer be used. If the application was received before April 28, 2017, you will receive a disposition document based on whether the application was filed through the EAP (short- or long-term approval) or EFR process (letter of authority).
For applications submitted to EDS after the system change on April 28, 2017, when a decision is issued the applicant will receive a disposition document that looks different. New applications will be issued a “disposition” document; amended applications will be issued an “amended disposition” document; and renewal applications will be issued a “renewed disposition” document. All disposition documents will be sent electronically to the applicant through the EDS system.
These disposition documents will have the following components:
Q. What key changes will be made to wildlife survey requirements?
A. The LAT will identify sensitive wildlife areas and ranges to determine whether a wildlife survey is required. Wildlife surveys determine whether sensitive wildlife habitat features or species are present.
If the LAT report submitted says that a wildlife survey form is required, EDS will require the wildlife survey form to be uploaded and it will validate that a document has been uploaded when the application is submitted. EDS will reject the application if the wildlife survey form is not included.
The AER may request all wildlife survey documentation at any time.