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Line Creek Operations Phase II granted conditional environmental assessment approval

October 7, 2013

VICTORIA – Environment Minister Mary Polak and Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett have issued a conditional Environmental Assessment Certificate to Teck Coal Ltd. for the Line Creek Operations Phase II project, located in the Elk Valley, 20 km northeast of Sparwood.

The decision was made after considering a review led by British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office. The ministers also considered supplemental information concerning the Minister of Environment’s Order for Teck Coal to develop an area-based Management Plan to address water quality in the Elk Valley, through which the company will stabilize and reverse trends in water contaminant concentrations from coal mining in the Elk Valley watershed. A record of the factors that the ministers considered in making their decision can be found in the Reasons for Ministers’ Decision at: http://bit.ly/17hbCip

The Environmental Assessment Certificate includes 26 conditions, which together with the design specified in the Certified Project Description will mitigate potential impacts of the project. Each of the conditions is a legally-binding requirement that Teck Coal must meet to be in compliance with the certificate. It is also a legal requirement that Teck Coal build and operate the project in accordance with the Certified Project Description.

Key conditions for the project include that Teck Coal must:

  • Develop management plans to mitigate local and cumulative effects on water quality and wildlife.
  • Develop a compensation plan to offset fish habitat loss and a regional fish habitat management plan.
  • Complete a population assessment of westslope cutthroat trout in the Upper Fording drainage basin.
  • Verify the findings of the human-health-risk assessment.
  • Working collaboratively with the Ktunaxa Nation, develop a number of plans, including a Cultural Management Plan, a Work Force and Business Opportunities Plan and an Economic Participation in Mine Closure Plan.

Consistent with its enhanced compliance and enforcement program, the Environmental Assessment Office will ensure that is satisfied that the certificate conditions are met.

The project will extend the life of Teck’s Line Creek Operations, which would otherwise exhaust coal reserves and cease operation in 2014. Phase II will produce 3.5 million tonnes of clean coal a year for an estimated 18 years.

British Columbia’s environmental assessment process involves a rigorous, thorough review that provides for significant opportunities for First Nations, government agencies and the public to provide input on the potential for environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects from a proposed project.

Contact:

Communications
Ministry of Environment
250 953-3834

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