Grassy Mountain Coal project application denied, reactions from both sides

Following yesterday’s joint federal-provincial review denying the application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, environmental groups are breathing a sigh of relief, however, some members of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass aren’t feeling the same emotions. 


The Grassy Mountain coal project located roughly seven kilometers north of Blairmore, Alta. has officially been denied its application to start open-pit coal mining in the Rocky Mountains. Back in May of 2020, the UCP government announced the rescinding of the 1976 Coal Policy. The announcement sparked a lot of public controversy over the last year.  


Conservation Director with Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) southern Alberta, Katie Morrison, says the panel had two main areas they were focused on including water and the environment. 


The release of selenium, a natural chemical in the ground can have a devastating effect on the ecosystem, waterways, and wildlife. Morrison adds, environmental groups across the province are pleased with the decision.


The project was slated to bring in 300-400 jobs once the mine started operation this fall. Crowsnest Pass Mayor, Blair Painter, says he isn’t too thrilled with the decision made by the panel as the added jobs would’ve helped the local economy. 


The application was denied under the Coal Conservation Act and related applications under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Water Act, and Public Land Act.

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