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Alberta Crown Land Right-of-Way (3-AB-b)

Information current as of 2018
In Alberta, a developer may need an Easement from the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks (Ministry) to install utilities across or on public lands. R.S.A. 2000, c. P-40. s. 20(1)(b); Public Lands Administration Regulation Table A1: Dispositions, p.13. Specifically, a developer may need an Easement to enter on and occupy public lands for any purpose. R.S.A. 2000, c. P-40, s. 20(1)(b). “Public land” means “land of the Crown in right of Alberta.” R.S.A. 2000, c. P-40, s. (1.1)(p). A formal disposition “gives the right to occupy and use the land for the purpose and term of the disposition.” Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step One-Pre-Application Webpage.


The formal disposition required to install utilities on or across public lands is an “Easement”. PLAR Table A1: Dispositions, p.13. Easements are a “right of access across Crown land usually for the installation of utilities.” Public Lands Administration Regulation Formal Disposition Information Letter, p. 3. Under the Public Lands Act, an Easement is a non-exclusive right that has an initial term of four (4) years and an amended term of up to 25 years. Public Lands Administration Regulation Formal Disposition Information Letter, p. 8.

The Ministry regulates Easements on Crown land pursuant to Alberta – Public Lands Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. P-40 and Alberta – Public lands Administration Regulation, A. Reg. 187/2011.


Crown Land Right-of-Way Process

3-AB-b.1 to 3-AB-b.3 – Landscape Analysis Tool (LAT) Report

A developer is required to generate a Landscape Analysis Tool (LAT) Report as part of any application submission for an Easement. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 7. The LAT Report assesses the project relative to spatial resources and wildlife map layers contained in the Master Schedule of Standards and Conditions (MSSC). Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 7. A developer must meet the requirements defined in the MSSC as it identifies desired outcomes, approval standards, operating conditions and best management practices. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 8. If a developer cannot meet the standards, an Easement Supplement Form with mitigation must be completed. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 9. For more information on an Easement Supplement Form see element 3.12.

A developer must also review the LAT Report standards and conditions content to identify site visits and surveys that a they may need to complete prior to applying for an Easement. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p.9. This can include identifying waterbody bed, shores and wetlands that may be impacted by the project. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p.8. It may also include requirements to complete surveys that identify sensitive species on the landscape. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p.11. Based on the completion of the site visits or surveys the developer may be required to change or alter their project to meet the conditions and standards outlined in the LAT Report. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p.9.

3-AB-b.4 – Land Standing Report

A developer is required to complete a Land Standing Report to identify any existing stakeholders and potential conflicts on the land base that the Easement is sought. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 7. The Land Standing Report form can be found on the Alberta Energy Electronic Transfer System Webpage. The developer must submit a Land Standing Report that is no older than (7) days prior to the date of submission of the Crown Land Disposition Application for an Easement. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 8. The Report may lead to:

3-AB-b.5 – Comply with the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA)

A developer must ensure that any activity on public lands complies with the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, R.S.A 2009, c. A-26.. The Land Stewardship Act is implemented through land use framework regional plans. The developer must review all relevant land use framework regional plans and confirm that a disposition (i.e., easement) is feasible and will align with these plans. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 8.

3-AB-b.6 – Complete Sketch Plan

A developer must complete a sketch plan when applying for an Easement across public lands for a transmission line. PLAR Table A1 p. 13. A sketch plan is a sketch depicting the limits and extents of an interest in public land. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 10.

3-AB-b.7 – Request a Pre-consultation Assessment

A developer may need to consult with Indigenous Peoples as part of the application process for an Easement. To determine whether consultation is required, a developer must request a pre-consultation Assessment from Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO). Proponent Guide to Consultation Procedures p. 2. The Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) manages consultation between the developer and the Indigenous Peoples of Alberta. Guidelines on Consultation with Metis Settlements p. 3; Guidelines on Consultation with First Nations p. 3. The pre-consultation assessment request must include:

  • The disposition type (e.g., easement);
  • The purpose type;
  • Duration of the activity proposed;
  • Area description;
  • Alberta township survey system locations; and
  • Map(s), sketch(es), survey Plan(s), site Plan(s). Proponent Guide to Consultation Procedures p. 2-4.

3-AB-b.8 to 3-AB-b.10 – Review Pre-Consultation Assessment Request

ACO must review the pre-consultation assessment request for completeness and accuracy. If the ACO identifies any errors in the request, a request for more information will be sent to the developer highlighting the error(s) made. Proponent Guide to Consultation Procedures p. 8. The developer must respond to the request for more information, make the necessary changes, and re-submit the pre-consultation assessment request. Proponent Guide to Consultation Procedures p. 8. Once a pre-consultation assessment request has been reviewed by the ACO, a pre-consultation assessment decision will be issued that will indicate whether consultation is required. Proponent Guide to Consultation Procedures p. 8. If consultation is required, the pre-consultation assessment will identify the level of consultation and the First Nation(s) and/or Metis Settlement(s) to be consulted. Proponent Guide to Consultation Procedures p. 8.

3-AB-b.11 – Consult with Indigenous Peoples

If consultation is required, the pre-consultation assessment will identify the level of consultation and the First Nation(s) and/or Metis Settlement(s) to be consulted. Proponent Guide to Consultation Procedures p. 8. There are (4) four levels of consultation: Level 1 – Streamlined Consultation, Level 2 – Standard Consultation, Level 3 – Extensive Consultation, and Level 3 – Extensive consultation for projects with an Environmental Impact Assessment. Proponent Guide to Consultation Procedures p. 9. For more information on the requirements for each level of consultation see: Proponent Guide to Consultation Procedures.

3-AB-b.12 – Crown Land Disposition Application

A developer must submit a complete Crown Land Disposition Application via the Electronic Disposition System (EDS). The Application must contain an accurate description of the land and be accompanied with all applicable fees. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 9(1). The Application must be accompanied with a statement by the applicant (developer) that certifies that all proposed developments will comply with all applicable disturbance standards. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 9(1)(f).

3-AB-b.13 – Easement Supplement Form (AS-006) (If Applicable)

A developer may also be required to submit Easement Supplement Form (AS-006) or other supplement form with the Application. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 9. Supplement forms are created to provide the Ministry with specific information regarding the activity that allows them to make informed decisions. Instructions for the Completion of EDS Supplements for Formal Disposition Applications p. 5. Supplements provide the Ministry with specific information regarding the construction and development of the activity in the context of the standards and conditions identified by the LAT Report. Public Lands Formal Disposition Application Process p. 9.

Supplement with Mitigation

If a developer cannot meet all applicable standards as defined within the LAT Report or must deviate from direction provided within a reservation or higher-level plan, appropriate mitigation must be identified. Instructions for the Completion of EDS Supplements for Formal Disposition Applications p. 6. When this happens, mitigation is required to be submitted as part of the supplement form. Instructions for the Completion of EDS Supplements for Formal Disposition Applications p. 5. The mitigation proposed must describe why the developer cannot be mitigated or provide appropriate mitigation to address the objectives and outcomes. Mitigation and other commitments must be followed by the developer and are subject to compliance. Instructions for the Completion of EDS Supplements for Formal Disposition Applications p. 5.

3-AB-b.14 to 3-AB-b.16 – Validate Application Materials

The EDS automatically validates the Application submission to ensure that an Application is valid. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage. Upon a successful submission of the Application a copy of the Application and the assigned disposition number is emailed to the applicant (developer). Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage.

3-AB-b.17 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The Ministry conducts a technical and administrative review of each Application to determine whether the Application proceeds to a merit review or is rejected. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage. The technical review determines if the technical information such as land and boundary surveys and plans contained within the Application meets the Ministry’s standards. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage. During the administrative review, the Ministry assesses the Application documents to ensure that they contain complete and accurate information. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage.

3-AB-b.18 to 3-AB-b.19 – Notice of Decision

The Ministry notifies the developer if their Application has been accepted or rejected via email or a letter. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 9 (7). The notice of acceptance or rejection will be sent to the developer within 30 days of receipt of the Application. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 9 (6). The Director of the Ministry may extend the 30-day period for a further 90 days. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 15 (2). An Application is deemed to have been rejected if the director does not register notice of acceptance or rejection within the 30-day period or extended 120-day period. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 15 (1).

3-AB-b.20 – Determine Whether a Referral Is Required

The Ministry determines whether a referral is required within or outside the Ministry as applications may require additional input. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage. If a referral is required, the ministry will work with the referral agency and/or other ministry divisions to evaluate the application. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage.

3-AB-b.21 to 3-AB-b.24 – Review Application Materials for Approval

The Ministry staff evaluates the Application and any proposed mitigations strategies identified in consultation with other divisions and referral agencies. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage. The Ministry must determine if any mitigation strategies identified in the Supplement (if applicable) will be accepted or refused. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage. When assessing an Easement Application, the Ministry considers a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Is the land use acceptable and in the best interest for that land base?
  • Does the proposed disposition comply with Alberta land management regional plans?
  • Does the proposed disposition impact or conflict with any existing land uses or stakeholders?
  • Are the disturbance limits of applicable disturbance standards met?

Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage. Based on all the information gathered and the assessment made during the application review stages, a recommendation for decision is made to the Ministry director. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage. The director may issue or refuse to issue an Easement. A. Reg. s. 10(1). They may also define terms and conditions that are more stringent than the Act or Regulations, but they cannot be less stringent. A. Reg. s. 10(2)-(3).

Notice of Decision

The Ministry issues a Notice of Decision to the applicant (developer) that states whether the Application has been rejected, accepted, refused or approved. The Ministry will send a notice that the Application has been rejected if it is not complete or acceptable to the director. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Application Review Webpage; A. Reg. s. 9. If the applicant (developer) has not received notice of acceptance or rejection within 30 days of submitting an Application, it has been deemed rejected. A. Reg. s. 15(1). Instead of appealing a decision, a developer may choose instead to submit a new application, which must meet all the pre-application planning and application requirements. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Three – Notice of Decision Webpage.

3-AB-b.25 – Appeal Decision (Optional)

The developer may appeal a decision to reject an Application or to refuse to issue an Easement to the Alberta - Public Lands Appeal Board (Board). A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 211(b)(c)(e). In addition to the person to whom the decision was given, any person that is directly and adversely affected by the decision may appeal the decision. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 212. A notice of appeal must be served on the appeals coordinator within 20 days after notice of the decision or within 45 days from the date of the decision. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 217 (1). The requirements for a notice of appeal are set out in A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 216 (1)(a). If the notice of appeal does not comply with A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 216(a), the appeals coordinator must reject the appeal. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 216 (2). If the appeals coordinator rejects the appeal, they must provide a notice of a rejection to the developer and must make the notice available to the public. A. Reg. 187/2011, s. 219 (1).

3-AB-b.26 – Notify the Ministry of Site Entry

A developer must provide notice to the Ministry within 72 hours of entry upon the land. Site Entry User Guide p. 10. A developer has until the Easement expiry date to enter the land. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Four – Disposition Management Webpage. When a developer submits a notification of site entry, a site entry notification number is generated. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Four – Disposition Management Webpage. If a site entry notification number does not exist, the easement holder will not be able to apply for an amendment or renewal of their disposition. Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks – Public Lands Dispositions Step Four – Disposition Management Webpage.


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