Environmental Assessment

Issue Brief: Oil Sands Monitoring

Updated: September 10, 2020
The budget for the joint provincial-federal Oil Sands Monitoring Program will be reduced by around 25% this year, citing less field work due to the COVID-19 outbreak. AEN members discussed the budget reduction on a call on August 26 and are seeking clarification from the Oil Sands Monitoring Program. Read More

Issue Brief: Vista coal mine expansion

Updated: September 3, 2020

The Coalspur Vista mine is one of the largest thermal coal mines in Canada, and the proposed expansion could almost triple its capacity. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson declined in December 2019 to order a federal impact assessment, but he reversed this decision on July 30 so the project will undergo a federal impact assessment. Coalspur Mines has launched a legal challenge to the Minister's decision.

Latest updates

Canada agrees federal impact assessment necessary for mine expansion near Hinton, Alberta

EDMONTON, AB – CPAWS applauds the decision by the federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, to approve the request for a federal impact assessment for a proposed thermal coal mine expansion near Hinton, Alberta. The decision shows Minister Wilkinson understands the serious need to assess adverse environmental impacts that result from outdated thermal coal mining. Read More

Climate change considerations in the new federal impact assessment regime

Jun 27 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Canada’s new federal impact assessment legislation came into force in August 2019. It includes explicit requirements to take into account climate change considerations during assessment and decision-making phases. What does this mean? Details are still emerging, primarily in the form of draft guidance set to be finalized in the very near future. This Saturday Morning at the Law School session presents the new legislative context and comments on the details of climate change considerations available to date, including implications for review and approval of major resource projects. The presentation will also relate this material to the broader context of implementing Canada’s international climate change commitments and related domestic law and policy measures.

This event is sponsored by the Alberta Law Foundation.

More info & registration Read More

Environmental monitoring suspended for all oil and gas projects in Alberta

Alberta Energy Regulator suspends requirements for environmental monitoring for all energy projects, citing COVID-19 concerns, despite the Government of Alberta rolling out its plans to reopen the rest of the province

Edmonton – Alberta’s Energy Regulator released two unilateral decisions on May 20, 2020, to suspend a series of environmental monitoring activities for all oil & gas operators and in situ operators. These suspensions include monitoring tailings for migratory bird landings, programs to detect and repair methane leaks, testing of surface waters and groundwater, soil monitoring, reclamation monitoring programs, wetland monitoring, and the requirement for lab testing of waters released to the environment. Read More

Pembina Institute to assess updated methane regulations as Alberta seeks equivalency

Pembina Institute reiterates timeline and process on path to federal equivalency

CALGARY — The Government of Alberta has released updated methane regulations as it seeks to achieve federal equivalency. Jan Gorski, senior analyst at the Pembina Institute, made the following comment: Read More


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