Eligible Person – Regulatory Appeal Denied
In this decision, the AER considered Mr. Harold Wynne’s request under section 38 of the Responsible Energy Development Act (“REDA”) for a regulatory appeal of the AER’s decision to approve the well licences applied for by Point Loma Resources Ltd. (“Point Loma”).
The AER found that Mr. Wynne did not establish that he was or may be directly and adversely affected by the decision. Therefore, the AER held that Mr. Wynne was not an ‘eligible person’ under REDA section 36(b) and, as a result, denied the request for regulatory appeal.
The decision subject of this appeal request was a well licence issued pursuant to section 2.020 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Rules, an energy resource enactment under REDA section 1(1)(j). Since the well licence was made without holding a hearing, it was an ‘appealable’ decision under section 36(a) of the REDA.
The AER explained that Mr. Wynne must demonstrate he was or may be directly affected by the well licences issued to Point Loma to be an eligible person to request a regulatory appeal.
Mr. Wynne’s primary grounds for requesting a regulatory appeal were that the public consultation was not adequate, the drilling may adversely affect the water aquafer (including potential impacts on his water wells), health problems from flaring and, that the existence of a well-site would diminish his future agri-tourism recreation plan and decrease the property value.
In relation to the water aquifer and water well concerns, the AER noted that the potential effects of the wells on the landowners’ water wells were addressed by the AER requirements that surface casing be set and cemented to a depth that is intended to protect the deepest aquifer. Additionally, Point Loma tested Mr. Wynne’s water wells and committed to working with Mr. Wynne to address any potential issues. The AER found it difficult to see any direct and adverse effects on the potential tourism business since it was not clear whether and when the business would materialize.