Edmonton, Alberta -- The Sierra Club Canada Foundation applauds the rejection of the Joint Review Panel for the Grassy Mountain Coal Project and calls for immediate action to stop all new coal mining in the foothills of the Rockies.
"We were delighted to see the Panel consider the delicate balance between water demands for source drinking water for communities, healthy aquatic environment, and economic development,” states Lindsay Boucher, Prairie Chapter Coordinator of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. "Because this is a water-stressed region, the threat of contamination from this mine has huge and lasting implications for communities downstream and across the Prairie provinces. We hope this result will set a precedent for other projects undergoing review in the province.”
Benga’s Grassy Mountain project is one of numerous metallurgical coal projects proposed in the Alberta foothills and surrounding region that would have significant impact on watersheds and wildlife. Selenium contamination in particular from coal mines remains a considerable threat because, once released, even at low levels, it becomes a threat to human health and aquatic life for centuries. Proposed coal mines also pose a threat on the Westslope cutthroat trout, a threatened species, and their aquatic habitat.
"This Joint Panel's report reveals that coal mines represent a significant threat to watersheds and communities. We hope that all levels of government will take note of its findings, and a complete moratorium on all mines in the foothills will soon follow," adds Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director with Sierra Club Canada Foundation.
For more information, please contact:
Lindsay Boucher, Prairie Chapter Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org / 1-587-989-3336
Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director
email@example.com / 1-902-444-7096