By: David Laidlaw
PDF Version: Sense and Sensibility at the AER?
Decision Commented On: Pembina Pipeline Prehearing Meeting 2015 ABAER 002
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) held a prehearing meeting on May 14, 2014 with all of the objecting parties and the project’s proponent Pembina Pipeline Corporation (Pembina). The AER felt it was appropriate to issue a decision report for the guidance of industry, landowners and objecting parties.
The Decision noted that the Responsible Energy Development Act, SA 2012, c R-17.3 (REDA) requires the AER to provide for the “efficient, safe, orderly and environmentally responsible development of energy resources in Alberta,” under subsection 2(1)(a). Further the AER must consider the interests of landowners when reviewing applications under section 15 of REDA and section 3 of the Responsible Energy Development Act General Regulation, Alta Reg 90/2013. Thus when a matter is referred to a hearing, a Panel is appointed to establish a hearing process for the application, and:
[i]n determining procedural matters, the panel takes guidance from REDA, its regulations, and its rules. One of the panel’s most important responsibilities is to ensure that the hearing process is fair. This includes ensuring that parties are provided with adequate notice of the hearing and application and that they have an opportunity to reply or to be heard (at para 5).
Further, the process is “intended to be fair, efficient, and effective for all concerned: for participants as well as the applicant” (at para 6, emphasis added).
The Decision is a short, well written 10 page ruling that warrants careful consideration by industry, lawyers and the public, but in this post I will focus on 3 novel aspects.