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Resource Extraction within Municipal Boundaries

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Resolution Category: 
Extraordinary Resolution 1
Subject: 
Year: 
2014
Status: 
Adopted - Expired
Sponsor(s): 
Lethbridge, City of
Active Clauses: 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT 1. That sections 518, 619 and 620 and other ancillary sections of the Municipal Government Act be amended to allow regulations and bylaws made by a municipality to apply to a well, battery, pipeline or pipeline structure, to delete provisions that provide licenses, permits, approvals or other authorisations of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)(or similar entity) prevail over other statutory plans, land use bylaws, subdivision or development decisions of a municipality and delete provisions that provde that a condition of such a license, permit, approval or other authorization prevails over any condition of a municipal development permit;
2. That legislation governing the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) be amended to require a statement from the local municipality for each application pertaining to the suitability and compatibility of all new applications for resource extraction within the jurisdiction of said municipality;
3. That legislation governing the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) be amended to ensure the municipality is granted standing in hearings for all new apllications for resource extraction within the jurisdiction of said municipality, with the option to participate being at the discretion of the municipality;
4. That all applications for resource extraction to the Alberta Energy Regulator for energy extraction address issues of compatibility with local municipal development plans and existing development.
 

Whereas Clauses: 

WHEREAS Section 618 of the Municipal Government Act states, among other things, that municipal regulations or bylaws made under this Part do not apply when a development or subdivision is effected only for the purpose of a well or batter within the meaning of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act, or a pipeline or an installation or structure incidental to the operation of a pipeline;

WHEREAS Section 619 of the Municipal Government Act specifically states that authorizations granted by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) prevail over municipal development plans;

WHEREAS Section 620 of the Municipal Government Act states that a condition of a licence, permit, approval or other authorisation granted pursuant to an enactment by... a Provincial Agency... prevails over any condition of a municipal development permit that conflicts with it;

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has committed to reviewing its policy regarding energy extraction within municipal boundaries;

WHEREAS municipalities develop long term plans for municipal development which provide for compatible land uses;

WHEREAS the population of the province of Alberta continues to grow with an increasing need for residential spaces within municipalities;

WHEREAS Albertans are expressing concern about energy extraction in close proximity to residential areas; and

WHEREAS energy extraction setbacks effectively sterilize municipal development and disrupt municipal development plans.

Resolution Background: 

In August 2012, then Municipal Affairs Minister Ken Hughes stated that the government of Alberta would introduce a policy on resource extraction in urban areas.

In September 2013, motion was passed in the legislature to “establish a working group to review whether adequate policies are in place for urban communities with regard to oil and gas development.

Current Minister of Energy Diana McQueen has confirmed that the government of Alberta is still considering a policy on resource extraction.

Consultation sessions were conducted by Alberta Energy around the province in June 2014

Minister McQueen has stated giving municipalities a veto over oil and gas projects will not be considered.

The Alberta Energy Regulator does take into account the concerns of residents and municipalities at its discretion. In 2012, the regulator denied 5,400 applications out of a total 36,000 submitted.

Section 619 of the Municipal Government Act states authorizations granted by the NRCB, ERCB, AER, AEUB or AUC prevail over any statutory plan, land use bylaw, subdivision decision or development decision by a subdivision authority, development authority, subdivision and development appeal board, or the Municipal Government Board or any other authorization

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), at its discretion, may grant a municipality intervener status in a matter affecting its municipal jurisdiction.

Decisions of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) may adversely impact municipal planning and provide for incompatible land uses, contrary to local municipal planning.

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has exclusive jurisdiction over energy extraction applications and its decisions are not subject to appeal.

Government Response: 

On December 17, 2015, the Minister of Energy sent a letter of response indicating the matter is still under review. She did not commit to modifying the approval process to include municipal input.

Alberta Energy – June 22, 2015. Energy’s response was very non-committal, acknowledging the need for communication and integration between municipal and provincial governments and the energy industry and indicating that improvement to the planning process will be explored.

AUMA Notes: 

AUMA rejects this response.

AUMA Comments: 
Closed Resolution