Online Permitting and Clearance (OPaC)

As part of an initiative to streamline services, Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation and Alberta Culture share an online application system for obtaining:

    • Historical Resources Act clearance.
    • Permits to undertake archaeological studies or palaeontological studies.
    • Permits to conduct research within Alberta Parks and Protected Areas.

This web page provides information relating to the Online Permit and Clearance (OPaC) system as it applies to applications for Historical Resources Act clearance and archaeological permit applications. If you require information about obtaining palaeontological permits, contact Dan Spivak at 403-823-7707. Those interested in undertaking research in Alberta Parks and Protected Areas should proceed to the Alberta Parks website for more information.

Applying for Historical Resources Act Clearance

Proponents and agents should be familiar with the need to consult with Alberta Culture as part of the approval processes required by the Government of Alberta prior to the onset of development activities. For all projects types, OPaC is now the sole means of applying for Historical Resources Act clearance.

OPaC features include:

    • A one-time registration that provides users with individual password-protected accounts.
    • Online application forms to apply for Historical Resources Act clearance.
    • The ability to complete, submit and track the progress of their applications.
    • E-mail notifications when applications have been received and accepted.
    • Returned applications when additional information or supplementary documents are required.
    • Electronic issuance of clearance approval or Historical Resources Act requirements documents in PDF format.
    • A tool that will search the Listing of Historic Resources and identify all Listing entries within user-defined land descriptions (based on the Alberta Township System).

Detailed instructional materials to assist in using OPaC to prepare, submit and manage clearance applications are available in the User Guide Section below.

Archaeological Permit Processes

Since proclamation of the Alberta Historical Resources Act in 1973, all archaeological studies undertaken in Alberta have required a valid permit. Section 3 of the Archaeological and Palaeontological Research Permit Regulation outlines the qualifications necessary to hold such permits and the conditions under which studies must take place. Permit Regulations are familiar to practising Alberta archaeologists and have not changed. Questions about eligibility to hold permits should be directed to
Darryl Bereziuk at 780-431-2316.

OPaC has been designed as a comprehensive work flow system to replace former paper-based processes for applications for archaeological permits and amendments and for communication regarding report review processes. Although the basic structure of these applications and the information required for their successful completion mirror former paper procedures, system architecture and some processes are new. All active archaeologists have been supplied an OPaC user account. Newly qualified archaeologists must contact the Historic Resources Management Branch to activate the permit-related features of OPaC.

OPaC features available to qualified archaeologists include:

    • Password-protected accounts through which archaeologists can complete, submit and track the progress of their applications and report summary submissions.
    • Online applications for archaeological permits, permit amendments, and information in support of report submissions.
    • The ability to upload required supporting documentation in a variety of formats.
    • A secure online payment mechanism for applicable application fees.
    • Communication by e-mail, including notification when applications have been received or when changes are necessary; transmission of PDF copies of approved permits and amendments; confirmation of receipt of report summary information for Interim and Final Reports; and notification of the results of report reviews and any required revisions.
    • A tool to search the Listing of Historic Resources for information on any significant resource in user-defined study areas.
    • Access to the digital library of archaeological permit reports.

Archaeologists must note that, while report summary information for Interim (if allowed) and Final Reports is to be submitted through OPaC, submission of hard copies of Interim and Final Reports is still required to initiate the review process, and digital data submission requirements remain unchanged.

Detailed instructional materials to assist in using OPaC to prepare, submit and manage archaeological permit and amendment applications and report summary submissions are available in the User Guides section below.

If you have questions regarding use of the OPaC system, please contact Martina Purdon at 780-431-2331.

Apply for clearance or permit:
OPaC Applications

OPaC User Guides:
OPaC User Guide - Section 1 - Registration and Common Features
OPaC User Guide - Section 2 - Applying for Historical Resources Act Clearance
OPaC User Guide - Section 3 - Applying for Archaeological Permits and Amendments
OPaC User Guide - Section 4 - Submitting an Archaeological Report Summary

Forms:
Applicant Agreement - Mitigative Permit Application
Applicant Agreement - Research Permit Application
Applicant Agreement - Student Permit Application
Archaeology Resources Recommended Action Matrix (RAM)
Palaeontological Resources Recommended Action Matrix (RAM)
Permit Transfer Agreement Form

Statements of Justification:
Archaeological Survey Information Bulletin - Statement of Justification (SoJ)
GUIDE - SoJ for Archaeological Historic Resources Impact Assessment
FORM - SoJ for Archaeological Historic Resources Impact Assessment
GUIDE - SoJ for Historical Resources Act Clearance for Small-scale Oil and Gas projects
FORM - SoJ for Historical Resources Act Clearance for Small-scale Oil and Gas projects
GUIDE - SoJ for Historical Resources Act Requirements for projects other than small-scale oil and gas
FORM - SoJ for Historical Resources Act Requirements for projects other than small-scale oil and gas

Adobe® Acrobat® PDF files can be viewed with Adobe® Acrobat® Reader software - a free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

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Last reviewed/revised: January 27, 2014