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Access Control Requirements in Public Lands Act Dispositions Held by Alberta Energy Regulator Licensees

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Release Date: September 30, 2014


The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is transforming how we conduct our business as we continue to strive to be a best-in-class regulator. This commitment involves seeking efficiencies in our processes, reducing duplication, and becoming more effective in ensuring the safe, environmentally responsible development of Alberta’s energy resources.

Some Public Lands Act industrial Licence of Occupation (LOC) dispositions contain conditions requiring manned gates for access control. This bulletin reminds licensees that current rules allow for the amendment of disposition conditions, including requests to use alternative means of access control.

The AER is responsible for issuing and maintaining authorizations and approvals issued under the Public Lands Act for the oil and gas, oil sands, and coal industries. Dispositions, which are the authority granted to operators under the Public Lands Act to use public land for specific purposes and activities, contain conditions that must be met in the construction, operation, and reclamation of surface activities on public land. In some circumstances, conditions included in dispositions may require access controls on roads.

The requirement for access controls is specified in some plans and policy documents approved by the Government of Alberta. While the objective of access controls will vary, their primary purpose is to restrict public access, particularly unauthorized access of vehicles to public land where there are sensitive lands or key wildlife species. Where required in a government-approved plan or policy document, access controls are generally reflected as an operating condition on a disposition. In some cases, access control is specified in a ministerial order.

Manned Gates
The use of manned gates has been prescribed as a condition in some industrial LOC dispositions. A manned gate is staffed by at least one person who may physically open a road barrier or gate or personally communicate with drivers before allowing them to proceed through a checkpoint. A manned gate is one of many possible techniques to restrict public access.

Oil and gas LOC disposition holders may submit a request to the AER for a change of the prescribed access control technique (e.g., manned gate) condition in their disposition only if the access control type is not specified in

  • a ministerial order,
  • an approved land-use plan, or
  • an approved policy direction.

Disposition holders requesting an amendment to their Public Lands Act disposition may follow the standard processes available for amendments. Before making the request, the AER recommends that disposition holders speak with AER field staff about their specific circumstances and plans for access control.

For more information on how to request an amendment of an existing Public Lands Act disposition, visit the AER website, e-mail @email, or call the Customer Contact Centre at 1-855-297-8311.

<original signed by>

Kirk Bailey
Executive Vice President
Operations Division