Canada Releases Final Decision on Grassy Mountain Coal Project
The Government of Canada recognizes the mining sector as an important economic driver in Canada. However, the mining of coal can include significant adverse environmental effects leading to impacts that matter to Canadians. Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, issued a Decision Statement under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 for the Grassy Mountain Coal Project.
After careful deliberation and review of available and relevant information, which includes the Joint Review Panel's Report, the Minister concluded the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects under CEAA 2012. The Government of Canada has determined those effects are not justified in the circumstances and therefore, the project cannot proceed.
The Minister concluded the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects to:
Surface water quality, including from selenium effluent discharge
Westslope Cutthroat Trout, listed as threatened under the Species at Risk Act, and its habitat
Whitebark Pine, listed as endangered under the Species at Risk Act
Physical and cultural heritage of the Kainai, Piikani and Siksika First Nations
In addition, the Minister concluded that the project is likely to contribute to existing significant adverse cumulative effects to
Westslope Cutthroat Trout and its habitat
Little brown bat
Current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes and physical and cultural heritage of the Kainai, Piikani and Siksika First Nations
The Government of Canada appreciates the constructive dialogue it has had with Indigenous communities throughout the assessment process. The relationships that have been formed reflect the Government of Canada's commitment to meaningful engagement and reconciliation. The comments received from all participants throughout the environmental assessment process, including the robust scientific advice received from various experts, was invaluable and allowed the Government of Canada to make well-informed decisions.