The Surface Rights Board is a quasi-judicial tribunal that grants right of entry and assists landowners/occupants and operators resolve disputes about compensation when operators require access to private land or occupied crown land to develop subsurface resources such as oil, gas, and coal or to build and operate pipelines and power transmission lines.

Overview of the Process
Minimize 1. Attempt to reach an agreement with the operator
Often landowners and operators are able to reach an agreement to compensate for damages without ever coming to the Board.
Minimize 2. Submit application for damages or losses:

If an agreement could not be reached, either party may submit an Application for Damages in writing within 2 years from the last date on which damage is alleged to have occurred. The Application should include:  

       a) A copy of the original Surface Lease or Right of Entry Order and amendments, including the plan of the site;

       b) Details of the claim, including reasons for the claim and the amount claimed; and

       c) Any other relevant documents.

For more information on how to apply, see How to Apply.

Minimize 3. Dispute resolution conference and mediation:

After receiving an application, Board Administration will often schedule a telephone Pre-Hearing Dispute Resolution Conference (“DRC”). At the DRC, the assigned Board Member may discuss with the Parties: identification and simplification of issues, which facts can be agreed upon, whether issues can be settled, disclosure, and exchange of information, and hearing dates if required. Mediation is encouraged, and may be facilitated by Board Members. For more information, see Dispute Resolution Conference  and Mediation.

Minimize 4. Hearing:

Board Administration may schedule a hearing if the issues cannot be resolved through prior proceedings. The Board may, at its discretion, award reasonable costs incurred in relation to the Board proceedings. For more information, see Hearing.

Minimize Appealing to the Court:

Most matters are closed when the Board makes its decision. However, the operator and the owner both have the option of appealing to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. For more information, see Appealing to the Court.

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