Lethbridge City Seeks Coal Mining Ban in Eastern Slopes in Alberta
Lethbridge Herald reported that USA Alberta’s Lethbridge City council unanimously passed a resolution to encourage the province to ban all future coal exploration in the Eastern Slopes, and to reclaim all lands disturbed by coal exploration this past year, before the February 8, 2021 moratorium brought in by the province, by no later than December 31, 2025. The resolution also called for a new coal policy which no longer distinguished any categories which would allow coal mining in the Eastern Slopes, and instead protects them as one category en masse known as the Eastern Slopes.
Mayor Mr Chris Spearman said “This is our opportunity to have input into the Alberta Coal Policy Committee as many other municipalities are currently doing by submitting letters. If we submit a letter, it will be part of the consideration by the Coal Policy Committee before they bring out their findings.”
Mr Spearman added “Our city, our agriculture and food production economy, tourism, recreation, human health and animal health may all be at significant risk due to coal mining activity. The headwaters and landscapes of the Eastern Slopes are essential to the future of Southwest Alberta and the City of Lethbridge.”
Alberta’s vulnerable South Eastern Slopes and the heart of southern Alberta’s water supply are being offered up to international coal firms intent on mountain top removal mining of the area’s metallurgical coal. An Alberta government decision to rescind the Coal Policy protections that have been in place since the 1970s has opened the door to intensive coal development in the region.