Navigating the Crown Land Application Systems: EDS, OneStop, DRAS & ACO Digital Service
Obtaining access to Crown land in Alberta for a project requires a disposition from the Government along with other consents and approvals. The Alberta Crown application system can feel congested and difficult to navigate. In this article we provide a breakdown of each; what they are, and when they are used.
Out of the three systems above, Electronic Disposition System (EDS) came first, and was originally the place for all Alberta crown disposition application needs. Now, it’s the system used for First Nation Consultation application and applications related to Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) regulated dispositions. EDS can be used to submit applications and amendments on Crown Land that do not relate to Oil and Gas activities. For example, an access road can be applied for with the AEP under DLO if it relates to a recreation campsite or railway, but an access road related to an Oil and Gas wellsite would be submitted through Onestop under LOC.
Indigenous Consultation applications, such as pre-assessments and adequacy applications, are submitted through EDS, but application information does communication with OneStop. Whatever application stage and/or adequacy deemed information will automatically be populated into the Onestop application once you’ve entered your FNC #.
The Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) has also developed a new online system that allows users to easily manage their regulatory consultation file information. For proponents, the system provides details on the administrative steps, submission standards, and requirements of the consultation process. For First Nations and Métis, staff can access consultation file information to check statuses, look up contacts, and find out about consultation process requirements. For the ACO, the system allows them to direct, monitor, support, and evaluate regulatory consultation for resource development applications.
OneStop is where the applications regulated by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) moved into. OneStop handles well licence applications and amendments, new/amendment/renewal applications under Public Lands Act, reclamation certificate submissions for AER regulated Pipelines and wellsites, new/amendment applications under the Water Act, Regulator Temporary Field Authorizations (RTF), and notifications relating to the Code of Practice, pipeline construction activities, flaring, and venting.
Additionally, OneStop provides reports regarding leak survey, annual performance, annual dehydrator benzene inventory form, annual mandatory and voluntary closure spend targets, program commitment and closure activity, surface abandonments, initial suspension and industry inspections and reactivation, well surface abandonment, and annual methane emissions.
OneStop also has a built-in web enabled spatial tool called the Energy Development Planning (EDP) tool. The EDP tool shows the virtual siting and re-siting to the proposed activity, at a landscape level, to mitigate concerns of the proposed activity and identify any operational constraints that may apply. The EDP also allows you to download shapefiles and generate planning reports.
Leading into the newest application system implemented by AEP on Jun 21, 2021. The Digital Regulatory Assurance System (DRAS) will soon replace EDS and will support all authorization types managed by AEP under the Water Act, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, and the Public Lands Act. DRAS will be used to manage the entire lifecycle of a project from application to authorization, monitoring and compliance reporting, to remediation and closure.
Currently, DRAS only handles Water Act approval applications, approval amendment applications and Code of Practice notices. The remainder of the system roll out will happen throughout 2021 and span into 2023. It will eventually house all applications online regarding Water Act licenses, Public Lands Act dispositions for commercial and industrial activities, drinking water management, and the remaining host of activities AEP regulates.
If you are unsure which system to use or how to navigate these programs, fret no more! We are here to help guide you.
Our Crown Land team specializes in public lands dispositions. Reach out to us at email@example.com.