Step Three - Application Review

Formal Disposition Application Administration

This phase of the disposition application process begins when Environment and Parks (AEP) (the Department) or the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) (the Agency) receive an application submission. There are a number of steps before a decision can be made on a disposition application.

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1. Application Validation

The first step in disposition application administration is to validate the information to determine if the application can be accepted. Although much of this is done electronically though the Electronic Disposition System, there are still responsibilities of staff to review other specific application content.

Electronic validation is an automated check done by the Electronic Disposition System once the submit button has been pressed by the applicant to ensure that an application submission is valid.

For those disposition applications that are allowed to be submitted via paper documentation, a manual validation is done.

Upon successful submission of an application, a copy of the completed application form and the assigned disposition number are emailed to the applicant.

2. Completeness Review

The Completeness Review combines the review that is done (the technical review) to ensure the plan standards are met for the disposition and the review that is done (the administrative review) to determine if the application is complete and can therefore proceed to a merit review. If an application is not complete or does not meet the set standards, it is rejected.

  1. Technical Review

    A technical review of all validated disposition application submissions is conducted by the Department/Agency. The technical review is a process that determines, validates, and records the technical information (land and boundary surveys/plans) provided in an application.

  2. Administrative Review

    An administrative review of all validated disposition application submissions is conducted by the Department/Agency following a technical review. The application documents are assessed to ensure content meets regulatory standards: that all documents are correct for that application and they contain complete and accurate information.

  3. Acceptance or Rejection of the Application

    The regulatory body will notify the applicant if their application is deemed complete or not via email or a letter (Public Lands Administration Regulation: Section 9(6)). If it is not complete, the application is rejected (Public Lands Administration Regulation: Section 9(7)).

    The Department/Agency will register the decision of acceptance or rejection. If the decision is to reject the application, a notice is sent to the applicant. (Public Lands Act: Section 16(4) and Public Lands Administration Regulation: Section 9(6).

    A notice of acceptance or rejection will be sent to the applicant or agent acting on behalf of the applicant within 30 days of receipt of the application. This time period may be extended for a further 90 days (not to extend beyond a maximum of 120 days) by the Director under section 15(2) of PLAR. To do so, the Director must send a letter before initial 30 days to indicate that the Director wishes to extend the notice period.

  4. Next Steps

    The Agency provides public notice for all public lands applications for energy-related activities that are filed with the Alberta Energy Regulator. These are posted on the AER website under the Public Notice of Applications Tool. This gives Albertans concerned about a particular application an opportunity to submit a "statement of concern," which is a written submission that outlines specific concerns about an application. A statement of concern may be filed by anyone who believes they may be directly and adversely affected by an application.

    If the submitted application is rejected notice will be sent to the applicant identifying the issues that caused the application to be rejected.

    • If this occurs and the applicant wishes to re-submit the application they must submit a new application, the identified issues must be corrected and the non-refundable application fee will need to be paid again.
    • The system will not accept the same Land Analysis Tool report number in a re-submitted application. All resubmitted documents (e.g., consent and supplements) must reflect the new Land Analysis Tool report number.

    For these reasons, it is critical that applicants are thorough, and submit complete, well planned and correct applications the first time.

3. Referrals

Once an application submission has been validated for technical and administrative accuracy, the next step is to assess whether a referral is required within or outside the department as applications may require additional input.

All referrals to the Operational Approvals District office constitute part of the Merit review.

4. Merit Review

If the application meets the administrative and technical requirements, a "merit" review is done as per the Public Lands Administration Regulation: Section 9 5(b).

When assessing a disposition application based on merit, many factors may be considered including if:

  • The land use is acceptable and in the best interest for that land base
  • The disposition is in compliance with Alberta land management regional plans (if applicable)
  • The activity does not impact or conflict with any existing land uses or stakeholders
  • The disturbance limits of applicable disturbance standards are being met

Regulatory body staff evaluate the application and any proposed mitigation strategies identified in consultation with other Department/Agency divisions and referral agencies. This enables discussion between industry and regulatory staff regarding the proposed mitigation strategies and how to best minimize impacts to landscape sensitivities. The appropriate regulatory body must determine if any mitigation strategies identified in the Mitigation Supplement will be accepted or refused.

  • If the application and associated mitigation strategies are not accepted, the regulatory body will communicate this refusal in writing.
  • Decision Recommendation

Based on all the information gathered and assessment made during the application review stages, a recommendation for decision is made to the "director."

5. Director Decision

The next step is that the director must make a decision. The applicant is notified of the decision. For more information see:

Prior to the issuance of the formal disposition the applicant may cancel an application submission by submitting a cancellation request via email to:


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Posted: Apr 28, 2017