Updated December 2022
This EnerFAQs is intended to help you understand what statements of concern are and how to file one with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) if you have a concern with an energy resource development application.
- What is a statement of concern?
- What is the difference between a statement of concern and an operational complaint?
- Who can file a statement of concern?
- How do I find out about energy resource development applications?
- How can I register a statement of concern?
- What information must be included in a statement of concern?
- When should I submit my statement of concern?
- What information should not be included in a statement of concern?
- Where do I send my statement of concern?
- What happens to my statement of concern once I have submitted it?
- What if my statement of concern is related to an application about which a decision has already been made?
- How do I find the decision on my statement of concern?
- What if I have concerns with a proposed development that has not yet been filed with the AER?
- What if I no longer have concerns?
- Where can I find more information?
- Additional Information
What is a statement of concern?
Albertans concerned about a particular application may submit a statement of concern, a written submission documenting 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. Upon proclamation of the Responsible Energy Development Act, statements of concern replaced objections as the way to file your concerns about energy project applications.
What is the difference between a statement of concern and an operational complaint?
Statements of concern are about applications for proposed energy resource activities and developments, as well as any amendments to them. A statement of concern can only be made in response to a notice of application. If the AER determines that your correspondence is an operational complaint, it will be referred to the applicable field centre for follow-up.
Operational complaints are about existing, licensed energy resource activities (e.g., noise, smells, etc.). An operational complaint can be made at any time during the life of an energy development. Please direct operational complaints to the nearest AER field centre.
How do I find out about energy resource development applications?
For most applications, public notice is generated automatically and found on our Public Notice of Application webpage. For a small number of applications, a notice is manually prepared; these are available on the Notices webpage.
Before we accept an application for an energy resource activity, depending on the activity proposed, we may require a company to provide notification of and information about the proposed activities directly to certain people, making sure that those receiving the information fully understand what is being proposed and the potential effects.
Details of who a company must contact before it applies for an energy resource activity or development varies according to the application type. Notification requirements may include input from landowners, First Nations and Métis, occupants, other energy resource operators, or local authorities. Where notification is required, the company must provide details about how and why it chose its proposed locations for any wells, pipelines, facilities, or access roads and what to expect from equipment use and operations during the production phase.
How can I register a statement of concern?
We will only register a statement of concern if it contains the information outlined below. Phone calls are not registered as statements of concern. You may outline your concerns using the statement of concern 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).
When should I submit my statement of concern?
Be sure to submit your statement of concern form within the specified filing deadline. The type of application and category will determine the submission deadline for the statement of concern. There are two types of applications:
- Expedited: There is no deadline to submit a statement of concern for expedited application. The AER will make an approval decision at any time after an expedited application is submitted. Submit the statement of concern as soon as possible before the AER makes its decision concerning an expedited application.
These application types are outlined in section 5.2.2 of the AER Rules of Practice. Examples include routine Directive 056: Energy Development Applications and Schedules applications and Water Act temporary diversion licences.
- Non-expedited: There is a deadline to submit a statement of concern for nonexpedited applications. The filing deadline is stated on the public notice of application. Nonexpedited applications fall outside the listings in section 5.2.2 of the AER Rules of Practice.
What information should not be included in a statement of concern?
Our application process is public. The AER Rules of Practice require us to place all information filed about an application on the public record, including statements of concern. All information you submit will be made public. Therefore, avoid including anything you do not want to be made public, including
- information related to a medical, psychiatric, or psychological history or a condition or illness, including the diagnosis, treatment, or evaluation of one;
- financial information, including
- rent payments,
- details about settlement negotiations or offers
- information affecting income or income assistance eligibility, such as tax returns and bank account or credit card information, and
- any information shared during confidential negotiations or discussions (e.g., the AER’s alternative dispute resolution program);
- information about employment or educational history;
- statements of opinion made by another person or your opinion about another person;
- any other type of personal or confidential information.
Where do I send my statement of concern?
Send your statement of concern to the company making the application and to the AER. We may require the applicant to respond to your concerns. If you use the online statement of concern form, the AER will automatically receive it. You can print the completed form and send it to the company. If you did not use the online form, send the statement of concern to
Alberta Energy Regulator
Statement of Concern Team
Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4
What happens to my statement of concern once I have submitted it?
Once we receive your statement of concern, we will review it to ensure 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 outside our authority (e.g., surface material lease, compensation). We will let you know if your statement of concern is outside our authority and will advise you by letter of 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 at the end of the application processing time, whichever is longer.
The AER will provide the Aboriginal Consultation Office with copies of statements of concerns received from a First Nation, Métis Settlement, Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis local, or other Indigenous groups or individuals who identify themselves as representing one of these organizations.
Phases of a Statement of Concern:
Phase 1: Intake
- We receive the statement of concern form.
- We determine if the statement of concern meets the requirements outlined in the AER Rules of Practice and the Responsible Energy Development Act.
Phase 2: Registration
- We enter the statement of concern into our 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 applications.
- We create a recommendation for consideration by AER statutory decision maker.
Phase 4: Decision
- The statutory decision maker considers all applicable information and the recommendation.
- The statutory decision maker decides on the statement of concern concerning the applications.
Phase 5: Close
- We notify all parties of the our decision.
- We post the notice of decision to www.aer.ca.
At any point in the process, consider using Alternative Dispute Resolution, which provides concerned parties options to manage disputes, including direct negotiation between the parties, AER staff-led mediation, and third-party mediation.
What if my statement of concern is related to an application about which a decision has already been made?
If you have concerns about an 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.
- Publication of Decision – Project application decisions are posted on this webpage.
- Participatory and Procedural Decisions – Statement of concern dispositions are posted on this webpage.
- Hearing Decisions – Hearing decisions are posted on this webpage.
What if I have concerns with a proposed development that has not yet been filed with the AER?
The AER does not accept statements of concern before an application is submitted. Our preapplication 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 fact sheet can be viewed and downloaded on our website (www.aer.ca).
The AER does not consider preapplication concerns when making decisions on applications. Once the application has been submitted to the AER, you may submit a statement of concern form if you still have concerns.
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 @email with the following information:
- the application number
- the statement of concern registration number
- a simple statement that indicates you no longer have concerns
Withdrawals must be unconditional to be accepted.
Where can I find more information?
For more information on the hearing and ADR processes and participant funding, see the following publications on our website at www.aer.ca:
• Manual 003: The Hearing Process for the Alberta Energy Regulator
• Manual 004: Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and Guidelines for Energy Industry Disputes
• Directive 031: REDA Energy Cost Claims
Related information and AER publications include:
- 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
For more information on the AER and its processes or if you wish to speak to your local field centre or have questions about energy project in the province of Alberta, contact our Customer Contact Centre, Monday to Friday (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at 1-855-297-8311 (toll free).
To learn more about the AER’s role in energy development, watch our Conversations that Matter video series on YouTube or on www.aer.ca. The videos use plain language and animation to transform technical information and present it in a way that is easy to understand.
Each year we collect, compile, and publish a large amount of technical and regulatory information and data about Alberta’s energy development and resources for use by industry and the public. This includes raw data, statistics, application and hearing materials, and information on regulations, policies, and decisions.
Energy and Environmental 24-hour Response Line (emergencies and complaints): 1-800-222-6514 (toll free)