The Surface Rights Act was recently amended. The process to update the operator on a Board Order has changed. See Amend surface Right of Entry Order.

Surface land use

The Surface Rights Act states that no operator has a right to enter the surface of the land until it has obtained the consent of the owner or occupant.

If an operator fails to obtain the consent of a landowner or occupant regarding access to the land, the Board may grant a Right of Entry Order (section 12 and section 15 of the Surface Rights Act).

The right of entry may be granted by the Board on both private and crown land for a variety of activities, including construction of pipelines, power transmission lines, or telephone lines, and mining and drilling operations. See section 12 of the act for a complete list of applicable operations.

Right of Entry Orders will specify the portion of land they apply to and may be subject to any conditions the Board considers appropriate (subsection 15(6)).

A Right of Entry Order grants the operator all rights to the surface to conduct its operations other than a right to a certificate of title, or the right to take sand, gravel, clay or any substance forming part of the surface of the land (section 16). The operator also has the right to excavate or disturb any minerals in the land granted as necessary for the operations.


Operators who exercise a Right of Entry Order must pay an "entry fee" (on freehold land only) prior to entry which is in addition to any compensation payable (section 19).

The operator must also pay 80% of the written compensation offer filed with a right of entry application and the operator cannot exercise a right of entry until the money has been paid either to the landowner/occupant or the Board (section 20 and section 22).

If the operator and landowner/occupant cannot agree on a rate of compensation, the Board will hold proceedings to assist the parties in resolving the dispute (section 23). If the parties do agree on a rate of compensation after a Right of Entry Order has been issued, they may ask the Board to issue an order confirming their agreement.

See Surface right of entry compensation for more information.


Connect with the Surface Rights Board:

Phone: 780-427-2444
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-427-5798
Email: [email protected]

1229 91 Street SW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6X 1E9