Oil Sands Environmental Coalition files motion requesting panel adjourn Total oil sands hearing

Flawed environmental assessment is illegal, groups say

CALGARY, AB — Today, on the first day of the Total E&P Joslyn North Mine hearing in Fort McMurray, lawyers for the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition (OSEC) filed a motion arguing the hearing, which will determine whether the project goes ahead, be adjourned based on Total's deficient environmental impact assessment.

Canadian law requires a cumulative impacts assessment to determine what the impacts of the project are when combined with other existing and planned development. Total's assessment, however, does not meet these requirements.

Total acknowledges it did not include an assessment of forest fires or future forest harvest after 2016 in its assessment. The assessment also ignores some planned oil sands mines — effectively ignoring tens of thousands of hectares of disturbance.

"Total's application should be thrown out," says Simon Dyer, oil sands program director for the Pembina Institute. "Total has prepared a cumulative impacts assessment that does not consider cumulative impacts. There is not enough information available to the Panel for them to proceed with a fair and responsible assessment of the proposed project."

The Oil Sands Environmental Coalition includes the Pembina Institute, the Toxics Watch Society of Alberta and the Fort McMurray Environmental Association. The Total Joslyn North Mine Project, if approved, will result in 1.5-million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution each year (equivalent to putting over 270,000 cars on the road), and destroy thousands of hectares of land.


Download: A copy of the motion and affidavit


  • Simon Dyer, Oil Sands Program Director
    The Pembina Institute
    Cell: 403-322-3937
    Available for comment until 1 p.m. MST
  • Richard Secord, Counsel to the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition
    Ackroyd LLP
    Cell: 780-932-8946