Top Alberta court denies appeal of regulator’s refusal to approve coal mine


Published January 28, 2022 at 12:58 pm

Alberta’s top court has denied a request to appeal a regulatory decision not to approve the Grassy Mountain coal mine in the province’s Rocky Mountains.

In a decision released today, the Alberta Court of Appeal turned down the request from Benga Mining and two area First Nations.

Benga had argued the environmental review panel which blocked the mine’s approval didn’t consider all the expert evidence available to it. 

The Stoney Nakoda and Piikani First Nations argued the refusal violated their Constitutional rights by failing to consider the economic benefits they would receive from the development.

But the court disagreed, saying Benga was simply asserting the review panel should have preferred the company’s evidence over that presented by opponents.

It adds that the review panel was well aware of what the First Nations had to gain from the Grassy Mountain project. 

In its June decision, the review panel said the mine’s likely environmental effects on fish and water quality outweigh what it called the low to moderate positive economic impacts of the project.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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