AB coal mining & SK water . . . .

AB coal mining & SK water . . . .

Postby Oscar » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:33 am

'An abomination': Sask. water expert warns of contamination following Alberta's coal policy changes

[ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatch ... -1.5902681

NDP says the change could lead to pollution in Sask.'s agricultural and drinking water supplies

Mickey Djuric · CBC News · February 5, 2021

(PHOTO: Heavy equipment operates at an open-pit coal mine in B.C., just west of the Alberta border. The Alberta government has rescinded a 44-year-old policy that restricted similar mines in large swaths of the Rocky Mountains and Foothills. (Robson Fletcher/CBC))

SCROLL DOWN TO CBC Radio "Blue Sky" phone-in . . . 50 minutes

Alberta's plan to allow for open-pit coal mining in the Rocky Mountains could be a serious threat to Saskatchewan's water supply, says the director of the Global Water Futures Project at the University of Saskatchewan.

"For a water scientist to see this happening, it's just an abomination to have these types of developments suggested in the headwaters of the rivers that supply drinking water and the economy for most of Saskatchewan," John Pomeroy told CBC's Blue Sky.

Last spring, the Alberta government revoked a 1976 policy that blocked open-pit coal mining on the eastern slopes and peaks of the Rockies. . . . .

"Ninety-nine per cent is coming from Alberta from upstream, and these are the headwaters of the rivers that are proposed to have these developments or changes in water quantity and changes in water quality," Pomeroy said.

Pomeroy says policies like this should be referred to the Prairie Provinces Water Board, adding the federal government also has a role to play in future developments of this sort. . . . . .

MORE. . . .
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Re: AB coal mining & SK water . . . .

Postby Oscar » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:37 am

Don’t Be Fooled: Alberta Is Still Playing the Coal Game

[ https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2021/02/10/ ... u6cFhd0Hvk ]

Reinstating the Coal Policy does little to protect the Rockies or already scarce water resources relied on by two million people.

Andrew Nikiforuk February 10, 2021 TheTyee.ca


"Meanwhile, the UCP government has claimed that “scientists, not politicians, make the environmental decisions.”

But that’s false. It is still abetting Aussie coal miners by any means it can.

Take water for example. It is a scarce and precious commodity in southern Alberta, and shortages will get scarier with climate change.

The region’s water security is primarily protected by the integrity of the eastern slopes of the Rockies, which hold and filter clean water for the plains below.

And it is governed by a specific allocation order allowing water to be assigned to towns, farmers and ranchers, industry and other users.

But Australian coal miners in the Crowsnest Pass don’t have enough water for their proposed open-pit mines and have lobbied the government for help.

Benga Mining and Atrum Coal both got what they asked for.

Without public consultation (a persistent theme here), the Kenney government has put forward a plan to take up to eight billion litres from the Oldman River dam reservoir, reserves that had been set aside for drought and other environmental conditions and emergencies.

Did the Kenney government do any specific studies on the impact of coal mining on water scarcity, climate and selenium pollution in the eastern slopes before giving away this water? No.

Meanwhile southern Albertans are appalled that the government is proposing to change water allocation rules for Australian companies and undermine the existing market.. . . . ."
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