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Notice of Application
CCA Applications 1929395, 1929396, and 1929397
EPEA Application 010-00301345
WA Applications 007-00311969 and 006-00311965
Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd.
Vista Coal Project

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has received Coal Conservation Act (CCA) applications 1929395, 1929396, 1929397; Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) application 010-00301345; and Water Act (WA) applications 007-00311969 and 006-00311965 from Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd. (Coalspur) for its Vista Coal Project. The AER is reviewing these applications together with the supporting documents.

This notice also sets out the deadline for filing statements of concern on these applications. See the section below on how to file a statement of concern for filing dates.

Description of the Applications
Coalspur has applied under the CCA to amend permit C 2011-5F, pit licence C 2014-5C, and coal processing plant approval C 2011-3E to construct McPherson tailings cells 2 to 9 for storage, consolidation, and dewatering of fine plant refuse which would result in the sterilization of 2 million tonnes of coal, and to amend dump licence C 2014-6A to modify the subcrop dump footprint within the approved dump licence boundary, and to amend dump licence C 2014-7D to modify the mineral composition and overall tonnes being deposited into the North Dump.

Coalspur has also applied to amend EPEA approval 00301345-00-00 (as amended), WA Approval 00311969-00-00 (as amended) and WA Licence 00311965-00-00 (as amended) for these changes, including

  • The construction and operation of the tailings treatment system for fine plant refuse prior to placement in the tailings cells.
  • The construction, operation, maintenance and reclamation of McPherson Tailings Cells 2 through 9 within mined-out pits for the storage, consolidation, and dewatering and reclamation of fine plant refuse.
  • The construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of seven new dams for regulation under the Alberta Dam and Canal Safety Directive, for the purpose of retaining flowable tailings as defined in the Water (Ministerial) Regulation, Part 6.
  • Changes to ensure process water is maintained in a closed-circuit.
  • Changes to the source water supply plan and subsequent site water balance.
  • The construction, operation and maintenance of a pumping system to reclaim tailings cells’ decant water back to the Fresh Water Pond for re-use in the Coal Processing Plant.
  • The construction and operation of interim surface water management structures to convey surface runoff around the perimeter of the tailings cells during the operational phase of the tailings cells. The structures would convey surface runoff to previously approved sedimentation ponds for treatment prior to release through previously approved release points.
  • The alteration of the flow, direction and level of groundwater due to the operation, closure, and reclamation of the tailings cells.
  • Changes to the construction, operation and reclamation of North Dump.
  • Changes to the configuration within the previously approved disturbance area.
  • Changes to the reclamation plan for the mine, including:
    • A decrease in the rate of progressive reclamation,
    • Capping of the tailings cells,
    • The addition of a large wetland to the reclaimed landscape.
  • Re-location of the fuel storage area.

The Vista mine currently consists of two parallel open pits, a coal processing plant, and various mine infrastructure located east of the town of Hinton, in Townships 50 and 51, Ranges 22–24, West of the 5th Meridian.

For a copy of the applications, contact Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd. PO Box 6146 Hinton, AB T7V 1X5 Attention: Brian Gregg Telephone: 780-817-0912 Fax: 780-865-3316 Email: @email

Or you can submit an information request, as outlined at www1.aer.ca/ProductCatalogue/ordering.html, to
AER Information Distribution Services Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4 Telephone: 1-855-297-8311 (toll free; option 0) Email: @email

Requirement to File a Statement of Concern
If you have concerns with these applications, you must file a statement of concern as described below. If you do not file a statement of concern, the AER may approve the applications without further notice.

How to File a Statement of Concern For your submission to be considered a valid statement of concern, it must be filed before 4:00 p.m. on September 17, 2020. Send one copy of your statement of concern to Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd. at the name and address above and one copy to Regulatory Applications Branch Alberta Energy Regulator Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4 Fax: 403-297-7336 Email: SOC@aer.ca

Contents of a Statement of Concern
For your submission to be considered a valid statement of concern, it must include

  1. why you believe that you may be directly and adversely affected by a decision of the AER on the applications;
  2. the nature of your objection to the applications;
  3. the outcome of the applications that you advocate;
  4. the location of your land, residence, or activity in relation to the location of the energy resource activity that is the subject of the applications; and
  5. your contact information, including your name, address in Alberta, telephone number, and email address or, if you do not have an email address, your fax number

The AER also requests that you include the application numbers in your statement of concern.

Confidentiality
Section 49 of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice (Rules of Practice) requires that all documents and information filed in a proceeding be placed on the public record. This includes any filed statements of concern. If you file a submission, you must not include any personal information that you do not want to appear on or are not authorized to put on the public record. Section 49(2) of the Rules of Practice states how to apply to the AER for an order to keep information confidential. The Rules of Practice is available on the AER website at www.aer.ca.

Jurisdiction
Submissions relating exclusively to compensation for land use are not dealt with by the AER and should be referred to the Alberta Surface Rights Board.

Under section 21 of the Responsible Energy Development Act, the AER does not have the jurisdiction to assess the adequacy of Crown consultation associated with the rights of aboriginal peoples as recognized and affirmed under the Constitution Act, 1982.

For information on AER procedures, contact the regulatory applications specialist, Irene Chia, by phone at 403-297-7202 or by email to @email.

Issued at Calgary, Alberta, on August 17, 2020.

ALBERTA ENERGY REGULATOR

Charlene Graham, General Counsel