If you have specific concerns about a company’s proposed energy development, you are welcome to submit a statement of concern (SOC). A statement of concern is a written, concise statement about a current AER application that describes specific concerns about a company’s development plans.
If your statement of concern is relevant, complete, and submitted on time, we will consider your concerns in our decision of whether to approve or deny the company’s application. A statement of concern should clearly and succinctly describe how you would be directly and adversely affected by the proposed development, the nature of your objection to the proposed development, and the outcome you seek.
How to Submit a Statement of Concern
Find the Company’s Project Application
All companies must submit an application for our review before developing any energy resource or significantly changing an existing activity or project.
When an application is submitted, we post a public notice of application on our website. The notice will indicate a deadline for filing a statement of concern.
To find a company’s project application notice, check both of these webpages:
Determine the Statement of Concern Submission Deadline
Applications have different statement of concern submission deadlines depending on many factors, including the type of application it is and how the AER categorizes it. There are two broad category types:
- Expedited: these applications do not have a set deadline to submit a statement of concern. The AER can make a decision at any point after an expedited application is submitted. A statement of concern needs to be submitted as soon as possible on expedited applications in order to be considered before the AER makes a decision on it. These application types are outlined in section 5.2.2 of the AER Rules of Practice. Examples include routine Directive 056 applications and Water Act temporary diversion licences.
- Non-expedited: these applications have a specific deadline for filing a statement of concern. The filing deadline is stated on the public notice of application. Non-expedited applications fall outside of all the listings in section 5.2.2 of the AER Rules of Practice.
Fill in the Statement of Concern Form
Use our statement of concern form to describe your concerns. This form can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to us using the contact information provided on the form.
The following information is required to fill in the form:
- the application number for the proposed project,
- how you may be directly and adversely affected,
- the nature of your objection to the application,
- the outcome you want to see,
- the location of your land or residence,
- the location of the proposed project, and
- your contact information (i.e., your name, address, phone number, and email address or fax number).
Important things to note:
- A phone call cannot be registered as a statement of concern; a statement of concern must be in writing.
- Be sure to submit your statement of concern form within the statement of concern filing deadline.
- If the AER registers your statement of concern, it will be made public. For your privacy, do not disclose confidential information such as rent payments, medical history, or employment records in your submission.
- If you include supporting documentation to supplement your statement of concern form, such as a technical report, the AER may ask you for an executive summary if it exceeds 20 pages.
- A statement of concern must relate to a current AER application. If your concerns are regarding a proposed energy development for which we have not received an application, please follow the directions in the pre-application concern fact sheet.
What Happens Next
Once we receive your statement of concern form, we will review it to ensure that we have enough information to register it in our system. If we have questions or need more information, we will contact you.
We do not register statements of concern for matters that are outside of the AER’s jurisdiction (e.g. surface material lease, compensation). If your statement of concern falls outside our jurisdiction we will send you a letter indicating this and try to direct you to the appropriate regulatory agency.
When we register your statement of concern you will receive a letter from us with a registration number.
We may request a written response from the company about your concerns; we will also consider this response as we review the energy development application. In some cases, we may recommend holding a hearing to address your concerns.
Once your statement of concern is registered, you will receive a decision either 60 business days from receipt of your statement of concern or the application processing time, whichever is longer.
The AER will provide the Aboriginal Consultation Office with a copy of statement of concerns received from a First Nation, Métis Settlement, Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis local, other indigenous groups or individuals who identify themselves as representing one of these organizations.
Phases of a Statement of Concern
Phase 1: Intake
- Statement of concern form is received
- Determine if the statement of concern meets the requirements outlined in the AER Rules of Practice in the Responsible Energy Development Act
Phase 2: Registration
- We enter statement of concern into AER systems
- We send notification of statement of concern registration to all involved parties
Phase 3: Review
- We review all applicable information
- We consider concerns raised in relation to the application(s)
- We create a recommendation for consideration by AER statutory decision maker
Phase 4: Decision
- Statutory decision maker considers all applicable information and the recommendation
- Statutory decision maker makes a decision on the statement of concern in relation to the application(s)
Phase 5: Close
- We notify all parties of the AER’s decision
- We post notice of decision to aer.ca
At any point in the process, consider using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which provides concerned parties a variety of options to manage disputes including direct negotiation between the parties, AER staff-led mediation, and third-party mediation.
We Share our Decision
We will send our final decision to you and the applicant. We will also share our decision publicly on the following pages:
- Publication of Decision – Project application decisions are posted here.
- Participatory and Procedural Decisions – Statement of concern dispositions are posted here.
- Hearing Decisions – Hearing decisions are posted here.
What if we’ve already approved the company’s application?
If you have concerns after we have approved an application, you may be able to request a regulatory appeal under section 38 of the Responsible Energy Development Act. Learn more about our regulatory appeal process and who can request to appeal.
What if the company hasn’t yet submitted the application?
The AER does not accept statements of concern before an application is submitted. Our pre-application concern fact sheet will help you understand what to do if you have concerns about a proposed energy development that is not yet under review by the AER.
The AER does not consider pre-application concerns when making decisions on applications. If you continue to have concerns after an application has been submitted to the AER, you may submit a statement of concern form.
What if I no longer have concerns?
If you have a registered statement of concern and no longer have concerns, you may withdraw your statement of concern by sending an email to SOC@aer.ca with the following information:
- the application number,
- the statement of concern registration number, and
- a simple statement that indicates you no longer have concerns.
Withdrawals must be unconditional to be accepted.
- EnerFAQs: Expressing Your Concerns – How to File a Statement of Concern About an Energy Resource Project
- EnerFAQs: Proposed Oil and Gas Wells, Pipelines, and Facilities: A Landowner's Guide
- EnerFAQs: The AER and You: Agreements, Commitments, and Conditions
- EnerFAQs: Having Your Say at an AER Hearing
- Resource story: Who You Gonna Call?
Statement of Concern Team
Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada