Energy Law Bulletin: Alberta’s New Energy Regulatory Regime Takes Shape
On May 29, 2013, Alberta issued three regulations and two rules under the Responsible Energy Development Act (“REDA”).
The New Regulations and Rules
The new rules issued include:
In addition, a series of consequential amendments were made to the existing regulations previously governed by the Energy Resources Conservation Board (“ERCB”). Interestingly, the Oil and Gas Conservation Regulations, the Oil Sands Conservation Regulation and the Pipeline Regulation have now been re-named as “Rules”.
In large part, the new Rules of Practice are a restatement of the previous ERCB Rules of Practice. However, critical refinements to how aperson intervenes in a matter and when a hearing will be held represent significant changes.
As detailed in our earlier newsletter on REDA Energy Newsletter, following the issuance of a notice of application, parties who believe
These statements of concern replace the earlier use of “objections” by the ERCB and bring the new regulatory process in alignment with the statements of concerns currently being utilized under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
Under REDA, the AER has much more discretion as to when it will hold a public hearing. Previously section 26 of the ERCA required the Board to hold a hearing when there was a possibility that its decision on an application directly and adversely impacted the rights of a person. Now, the AER may set an application down for hearing if the AER is required to do so by an energy resource enactment (none to date) or if a statement of concern is filed within the timeframe prescribed in the notice of application. More importantly, the AER can issue a decision without a hearing where the AER is of the opinion that either:
With the expanded power to dismiss statements of concern, the new framework affords the AER greater flexibility to determine when it will schedule a public hearing for an energy application.
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