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Effective immediately, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) will post participation decisions and substantive procedural decisions made by hearing panels and other AER decision-makers on its website, www.aer.ca, under Applications & Notices > Decisions. Previously, these kinds of decisions were only provided directly to the parties affected by the decision.
When a statement of concern is filed in relation to an application, the AER must decide whether to hold a hearing on the application. If a decision is made to hold a hearing, the AER issues a notice of hearing. The hearing panel must then consider any requests to participate in the hearing and decide on the nature and scope of participation to be afforded to the hearing participants. The AER also must also decide when it receives a request for a regulatory appeal on whether to grant all or part of the request. These kinds of decisions were formerly known as standing decisions but are now called participation decisions by the AER. In the written decision, the AER sets out the reasons behind the decision, demonstrating how the AER applies the sections relating to the holding of hearings or regulatory appeals that are set out in the Responsible Energy Development Act and the applicable rules and regulations.
The AER is often required to make substantive procedural decisions that determine the course of a proceeding or the filing of information for it. Examples of these kinds of procedural decisions include issuing confidentiality orders, setting or extending deadlines to file information, and establishing the scope of issues to be discussed in the hearing. Procedural decisions reflect the AER’s interpretation and application of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice and the principles of fairness and natural justice that apply to AER proceedings.
The AER has always posted prehearing meeting decision reports, which often contain procedural decisions, on its website. However, other forms of procedural decisions have only been provided directly to those parties affected by the decision.
The AER will continue to provide participation or procedural decisions directly to applicants, participants, and other persons directly affected by the decision. Effective immediately, the AER will also post participation and procedural decisions on the Decision webpage of the AER’s website. A brief description of the type of decision will be provided (e.g., hearing panel decision – participation), along with the application or proceeding number and the name of the applicant or proceeding (if there is no applicant).
Although the decision will be available on line, the statements of concern and other documents filed in the proceeding and considered by the AER in making its decision will not be posted. These filings will continue to be available by submitting an information request, as outlined at www1.aer.ca/ProductCatalogue/ordering.html, to
AER Order Fulfillment
Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4
Telephone: 1-855-297-8311 (toll free; option 2)
General inquiries about this bulletin can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-855-297-8311. General inquires about the AER’s application, regulatory appeal, and hearing processes can be made to Hearing.Services@aer.ca .
<original signed by>
Patricia M. Johnston, Q.C., ICD.D
Executive Vice President and General Counsel