Original language of petition: English
The proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project (the Project) is currently undergoing a rigorous environmental assessment (EA) by an independent Joint Review Panel (the Panel), which was established between the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and the Alberta Energy Regulator in 2018. The EA is ensuring a thorough and transparent review of the Project based on science and traditional knowledge, meeting the high standards that Canadians have come to expect of a federal EA.
As part of its review, the Panel is required to consider the potential direct and cumulative environmental effects of the Project including effects on water quality and quantity, and socio-economic interests. The cumulative effects assessment considers the predicted effects of the Project in combination with the potential effects from projects that have been or will be carried out as of the issuance of the Joint Review Panel’s Terms of Reference.
The Panel is also considering the potential effects of the Project on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes, intangible cultural and spiritual values, physical and cultural heritage, and potential impacts to rights of Indigenous peoples. On behalf of the federal government, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is actively leading consultations on the Project with potentially affected Indigenous groups. The Government will ensure that this consultation informs the decision-making process before determining whether the Project can proceed.
A public hearing for the Project began on October 27, 2020, and concluded on December 2, 2020. The public hearing provided an opportunity for the Panel to hear directly from numerous interested parties and Indigenous groups, which will help inform the EA.
On January 15, 2021, the Panel closed the record of the review. The Panel is now preparing to submit its report to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change by June 18, 2021. The report will contain the Panel’s conclusions and recommendations regarding the Project. After taking into consideration the Panel’s report, the Minister will determine whether the Project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Should the Minister decide that the Project is likely to cause significant adverse effects, a decision regarding whether those effects can be justified in the circumstances will be required by the Governor in Council.
The Government is committed to a federal assessment process that is robust, based on science and Indigenous knowledge, protects our rich natural environment, respects the rights of Indigenous peoples, and supports our natural resources sector. Any future coal development projects proposed in the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains that meet the thresholds described in the Physical Activities Regulations will be subject to an impact assessment under the Impact Assessment Act (IAA). Any projects allowed to proceed would continue to be subject to all applicable provincial and federal regulations. Coal mining projects not subject to the IAA may still require assessment under provincial legislation.
The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is considering the petition a formal request for a regional assessment under subsection 97(1) of the IAA, and has commenced a review and analysis of it to inform the decision on whether or not to conduct such a regional assessment. The information contained in this petition as well as other information gathered by the Agency in its engagement on the request will be considered in making a decision on the merits of carrying out a regional assessment by June 18, 2021.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||132|
|Prince Edward Island||13|