November 8th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 45
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AER issues Notice of Application for Grassy Mountain
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
By Keith McClary (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Grassy Mountain Coal Seam
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) issued a Notice of Application on October 31, 2017 for the Grassy Mountain Coal Project by Benga Mining Ltd. (Benga), a subsidiary of Riversdale Resources Ltd.

Benga applied to the AER for approval to construct and operate a metallurgical coal mine within the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and the MD of Ranchlands.

By issuing a Notice of Application, the AER is communicating to the public that it has received an integrated application with a supporting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) from Benga seeking approval to construct and operate a metallurgical coal mine within the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and the MD of Ranchlands.

Comments and Statements of Concern related to the proposed project can be submitted to the AER by December 8, 2017 at 4 p.m.

According to Cal Clark, Manager of Sustainable Development with Benga, the AER – at the provincial level - and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) – at the federal level - will conduct a full technical review of the application in its entirety to ensure that all questions and concerns are addressed prior to coming to a decision on issuing permits.
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“We expect that the regulatory technical review and public comments will lead to additional information requests which will require us to respond. This is a normal part of the regulatory review process for important projects like Grassy Mountain. Generally these types of information requests don’t involve a major amendment to the Project application or EIA,” says Clark. “Known as Supplemental Information Requests or Additional Information Requests, they, along with our responses, are open to the public and can be seen on both the federal and provincial project websites as they are completed.”

CEAA has already announced that they will refer the project to a panel. The AER has not yet determined whether they intend to go to a public hearing. Should they decide to do so, a joint panel hearing would take place some time in the next year.

“Both the provincial and federal regulatory reviews, including a panel hearing, are public processes with opportunities for the public to be informed and engage prior to a decision,” says Clark.

Permitting approval is expected to take between 12 and 18 months, after which point construction can begin. The construction phase is anticipated to be complete in the later part of 2020 and production can start at the beginning of 2021.
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There are various ways the public can remain informed on the project. More information can be found on the AER website for application No. 1902073 or on the CEAA website under reference No. 80101. Public information sessions would be held in the community prior to the hearing.

“Benga will continue to provide regular updates through their quarterly newsletter, website, presentations to groups and organizations, and as always, our doors are open and welcome people to call us, send an email or drop by to ask questions,” says Clark. “You can also sign up onto our email distribution list and receive information as it becomes available.”
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November 8th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 45
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