The Alberta government) reviews the potential environmental impacts of all proposed projects.
The Act supports a streamlined "single window" approach to approvals: one Director in each administrative region is responsible for coordinating and integrating the review of potential impacts of proposed projects on the environment (air, land and water).
The following regulations explain the review process in detail:
- Approvals and Registrations Procedure Regulation AR 113/93
With amendments up to and including AR 89/2013
- Activities Designation Regulation AR 276/03
With amendments up to and including AR 118/2013
- Environmental Protection and Enhancement (Miscellaneous) Regulation AR 118/93
With amendments up to and including AR 62/2013
Applications and submissions
Paper copies of EPEA applications and submissions are no longer accepted. You must email your application and supporting documents in PDF format.
For information about submission requirements:
- Acceptable Formats for EPEA Approval and Code of Practice Records and Submission Co-ordinates
- Electronic Document Submission Protocol
- Industrial Monitoring Documentation Submission Naming Guideline
- Municipal Monitoring Documentation Submission Naming Guideline
When you need approval
You must seek approval for activities involving the following main categories:
- miscellaneous (pesticides, designated materials)
- potable (drinking) water
- substance release
- waste management
If your project involves more than one of these activities a single blanket approval may be issued.
Step 1. Filing
Send your application and fee to our Regulatory Approvals Centre (see contact information below).
Include the following information in your application:
- location, capacity and size of the activity
- nature of the activity
- explanation about any public consultation you have done or plan to do about the activity
If these requirements don’t apply to your proposed project, the director can waive them.
The fee structure is based on:
- one charge for each new approval, renewal or amendment
- the complexity of the proposed activity
- the level of service needed to process the application
Information on the appropriate fees can be found at: Application Fees Order.
Fees are payable to the Government of Alberta. Once the technical review of your application has begun, fees are non-refundable.
Step 2. Notice requirements
As per EPEA, the public must be notified of all approval applications. Anyone affected by an application may explain their concerns to the director in writing. The public may also appeal approval decisions.
The director may waive notice:
- in an emergency
- when the activity is routine (with minimal or no adverse effect on the environment)
- if adequate notice has already been given
Step 3. Review
The review determines the proposed project’s overall environmental impact. It addresses:
- design plans
- site suitability
- proposed monitoring programs
- methods to minimize substance generation, use and release
If needed, the director may ask for additional information during the review. The applicant may also be asked to address the public’s concerns. This could involve holding information meetings or responding to individual statements of concern.
Step 4. Decision
The director considers public hearings and statements of concern in decision-making. The Alberta Energy Regulator and Natural Resources Conservation Board hold the public hearings.
Decisions are shared with the applicant and anyone who filed a statement of concern.
Step 5. Appeal
Requests for appeal can be submitted to the Environmental Appeals Board. This administrative group was established under the EPEA.
Find out how to appeal at: Environmental Appeals Board.
An approval can be transferred with the director’s written consent. Email the completed transfer application to the Regulatory Approvals Centre (see contact information below).
There is no fee for a transfer.
Certificate of qualification
A certificate of qualification may be needed if your work affects the environment. This certificate is needed if you are working with:
- potable water
- substance release
- wastewater and storm drainage
These certificates do not duplicate other Alberta training or certification programs.
Either the applicant or the director can ask for amendments to approvals. This happens if adverse effects appear after an approval has already been issued.
Amendments have to go through the same approval process as new applications.
Some changes do not require an amendment. These are listed in Section 67(3) of EPEA.
If a project involves waste management, conservation or reclamation, financial security will need to be provided. If the terms of the approval or legislation with respect to conservation and reclamation are not followed, security can be used to remedy deficiencies.
Sometimes a water-well regulation approval will be cancelled or suspended. If that happens, the approval holder may not get another approval unless they provide financial security.
Suspension and cancellation
Sometimes an approval will be cancelled or suspended. This can happen:
- upon application from an approval holder
- on the director’s initiative
- through an enforcement order
Approvals can be issued for a maximum of 10 years, but the Director can set shorter terms. See Section 7 of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement (Miscellaneous) Regulation for details.
For information on plant sites that require EPEA registration, see:
Connect with the Regulatory Approvals Centre: