The Natural Resources Conservation Board must consider the
environmental, economic and social impacts of a project in order to
determine its public interest. Projects are referred to the Natural
Resources Conservation Board for review under the Natural Resources Conservation Board Act
if the project requires an environmental impact assessment. Projects
may also be referred to the Natural Resources Conservation Board by
Order in Council.
The board hears evidence from the applicant, government agencies,
non-governmental organizations and citizens. In most cases, the evidence
is brought forward in a public hearing. Hearing participants, including
the board and board staff, have an opportunity to test the evidence put
forward by other participants through questioning.
The Natural Resources Conservation Board coordinates with Environment and Parks to establish joint terms of reference for reviewable projects. The terms of reference set out common information requirements for the board review and the environmental impact assessment. Environmental impact assessments (EIAs) ensure the applicant has considered cumulative impacts on the environment and community, and has consulted with the affected community.
The review of the environmental impact assessment is led by Environment and Parks. The board and its Science and Technology division participate in the review of the environmental impact assessment. The review may require the applicant to provide supplemental information before the assessment is determined to be complete.
The board's public interest determination process is initiated when the board receives the completed environmental impact assessment. The review of the environmental impact assessment is led by Environment and Parks.
The board’s mandate under the Natural Resources Conservation Board Act is
to determine whether a natural resource project is in the public
interest of Albertans. To do this, the board considers a project's
potential social, economic and environmental effects.
The board values public participation in its review process for proposed natural resource developments. Albertans who are directly affected by a proposed development are encouraged to participant in the review process, including the public hearing if one
is held. Individuals or groups who wish to provide relevant evidence
about an application for a proposed natural resource project should
register with the board within the timeframe set out in the hearing
Board review staff are available to help parties understand how to participate effectively in the review process.
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