Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) periodically reviews its processes. We do this in response to factors such as better scientific information and shifts in regulatory expectations.

AEP has made changes to surface material applications and review processes.

Changes to borrow activities on public land for energy operators

As of January 1, 2021, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has the regulatory authority to manage surface material leases and licences under certain conditions. The AER can review and issue dispositions for borrow pits subject to these conditions:

  • The borrow pit is required for and is incidental to an operator’s energy resource activities;
  • Only sand, silt or clay materials are removed; and,
  • Material is to be used for non-commercial, personal use (not for sale and only in respect of an operator’s energy resource activity).

If a borrow pit application does not meet those conditions, AEP is the regulatory authority.

AEP has published the Borrow Pits on Public Lands Operational Guidance Fact Sheet outlining operational information on the application process for surface material dispositions issued by the AER. The Fact Sheet can be found here:

Additional resources can be found on the AER’s website or by contacting the AER’s Customer Contact Centre:
Phone: 403-297-8311
Toll-free: 1-855-297-8311
Email: [email protected]

Changes to the Master Schedule of Standards and Conditions

On December 18, 2020 there were changes made to the Master Schedule of Standards and Conditions (MSSC).

Further information can be found at:

Sand & gravel program review

Surface material extraction is necessary to build our infrastructure and will continue to play an essential role in Alberta’s future. Pit operations are regulated by Alberta Environment and Parks and produce surface materials such as sand and gravel with a small number producing marl and clay. These surface materials are important non-renewable resources for Alberta’s economy and are found on public and private land. Extracting these materials must balance the economic and public benefits for Albertans while upholding high environmental standards to maintain biodiversity and healthy aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

The department is committed to updating surface material extraction programs to reflect improvements in scientific knowledge as well as Albertans’ changing regulatory expectations. The department has been conducting a review and developed draft recommendations to improve oversight and efficiencies in Alberta’s surface material extraction program.

Thank you to all that submitted recommendations for the review. We appreciate your feedback.

To read a summary of this feedback, please see: What We Heard: Stakeholder Feedback on the Sand and Gravel Program Review.

Public lands disposition application requirements

The application requirements for new and amendment application submissions for dispositions (excluding agricultural dispositions) on public land managed by Environment and Parks (AEP) and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) can be found at:

Learn about the public lands disposition application requirements with our e-Course:


Connect with the AEP Outreach Services:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-944-0313
Toll free: 310-3773 (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

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