CPAWS Intervenes in Teck Frontier Oil Sands Mine Approval Hearing
— Press Release September, 24, 2018
EDMONTON – The hearing for the Teck Frontier Oil Sands Mine Project is set to begin September 25, 2018. The Project, an open-pit mine, will be located ~30km south of Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest national park and a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. The mine will be the largest of its kind at 290km2, producing roughly 260,000 barrels per day of bitumen, and releasing 4 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. The Frontier mine will produce 6000 hectares of tailings area, and has an estimated lifespan of 41 years. Due to its location and size, the mine is expected to have a negative impact on Wood Buffalo National Park.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Northern Alberta Chapter is participating as an intervenor in the hearing and presenting expert evidence. CPAWS is concerned with the impacts that the mine will have on the Outstanding Universal Values (OUVs) of the park that led to its World Heritage Designation. These include the significant adverse effects that the mine will have on the Peace-Athabasca Delta and the critically endangered Whooping Crane. Wood Buffalo National Park is home to the nesting grounds of the only remaining wild, migratory population of the majestic Whooping Crane on the planet. Additionally, CPAWS is concerned about the impacts that the mine will have on other migratory birds, the overall cumulative impacts of development on the ecological integrity of the area, the mine’s encroachment into an area that should be a buffer zone for Wood Buffalo National Park as a World Heritage Site, and Canada’s ability to comply with its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and its international commitments on climate change.
“The Teck Frontier Project will likely have huge impacts on Wood Buffalo National Park,” says Adean Alessandrini, Boreal Program Manager at CPAWS Northern Alberta “An international monitoring mission from the World Heritage Committee and a Parks Canada report both determined that the ecology of the park is deteriorating, the approval of this mine could be detrimental to the state of the park moving forward.”
CPAWS has retained the University of Calgary Public Interest Law Clinic and the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation as legal counsel for the hearing. The public hearing is set to take place in Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan and is scheduled to continue for 5 weeks.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land and water and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the biodiversity within them. Over the last 50+ years, CPAWS has played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory. Our vision is to protect at least half of our public land and water so that future generations can experience Canada’s irreplaceable wilderness.
CPAWS has chapters in almost every province and territory across Canada, and two chapters here in Alberta – a Southern Alberta chapter located in Calgary and a Northern Alberta chapter located in Edmonton. As a collaborative organization, CPAWS works closely with government of all levels, industry representatives, and communities to manage our impact on a shared landscape. We also advocate for the creation of parks and protected areas for the benefit of both current and future generations of Canadians.