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Minister's Response

Date: December 20, 2019

Project:

Coalspur Mine (Operations) Ltd. is proposing to expand the existing Vista Coal Mine Phase I Project, an open-pit surface coal mine for the extraction and export of thermal coal. The expansion would be located approximately 3.5 kilometres east of Hinton, Alberta at its western boundary.

Decision:

Non-designated project.

Reasons:

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change has considered the potential for the Project to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, adverse direct or incidental effects, public concern related to these effects, as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. The Minister also considered the analysis of the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

The Minister has reached the decision that designation of the Project is unwarranted for the following reasons:

  • The Minister acknowledges that the Project may result in adverse effects to areas of federal jurisdiction, adverse impacts on the rights of Indigenous peoples of Canada, and adverse direct or incidental effects from the exercise of federal powers and that there are public and Indigenous concerns regarding the effects.
  • However, adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, and related concerns, are expected to be appropriately managed by comprehensive legislative mechanisms such as the review of any Application for Authorization under the Fisheries Act by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the provincial environmental assessment and regulatory processes.
  • These processes provide mechanisms for consultation with Indigenous peoples, including addressing potential adverse effects and concerns raised by Indigenous peoples and members of the public.

Additional Notes:

The Project is undergoing a provincial environmental assessment by the Alberta Energy Regulator.

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