News Release Archive

  After one of the most extensive assessments in its history,
  the Environmental Assessment Board has recommended
  Environment Minister Wayne Adams that Pioneer Coal's surface
  coal mine proposal for Stellarton be approved.
  However, The board has recommended, and the minister has
  agreed, to substantially reduce the size of the project. 
  Mining will only be allowed to proceed west of MacGregor 
  Avenue. The proponent will only be allowed to extract up to
  2,592,200 tonnes of coal, approximately one third less than
  the company had applied to mine.
  "My job is to protect the environment. That is why I am
  ordering the proponent that they can only proceed with a
  smaller project, subject to extensive monitoring and have a
  community liaison committee to act as a watchdog for the
  interests of the residents."
  The proponent has been told that the project will only be
  allowed to proceed if it meets 60 conditions of release.
  A community liaison committee must be established, and will
  be given copies of all reports related to environmental
  monitoring. Those reports will be available to the public. 
  "I want to ensure that the people of the area are given the
  facts," said Mr. Adams.
  The suppression of dust from such an operation will be
  extensively regulated. The minister has ordered the
  proponent work with the community liaison committee on a
  plan  to install dust monitors in various locations on or
  near the mine site. Those monitors will operate continuously
  and the data will be regularly provided to a community
  liaison committee.
  Roads on the site will either be paved with asphalt or
  covered with washed gravel, depending on the level of
  trucking operations in various areas of the mine. All trucks
  leaving the site must be washed, and all trucks carrying
  coal must be covered with fitted tarps.
  To ensure that noise from the mine does not unduly impact on
  nearby residents, Mr. Adams has instructed the proponent
  that a noise monitoring and mitigation program must be
  submitted for approval. At a minimum, the company will have
  to establish a buffer zone around the mine site. Noise
  baffles will also be erected to deflect noise away from
  nearby residents. The company will also be required to use
  conveyor belts rather than trucks to transport waste rock. 
  Noise monitoring stations must be established around the
  mine perimeter and on nearby private properties. These
  monitors will operate continuously. No mining will be
  allowed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  Reclamation of the site is an integral part of the
  conditions of release. The minister has made it clear, that
  the site is to be returned to a more natural appearance on a
  gradual basis, rather than at the end of operations. The
  department will require the proponent to submit a detailed
  reclamation plan that includes specific information on
  landscaping to stabilize all non-active but previously,
  mined areas. This will also ensure dust levels are
  The protection of water supplies and water courses will have
  to be ensured. In order to ensure the quality and quantity
  of groundwater supplies to nearby residents, the proponent
  must construct test wells close to existing residential
  properties. These test wells will be sampled on a bi-monthly
  basis. Tests on a representation sample of residential wells
  will be conducted on a weekly basis. If residential wells
  are negatively affected by the open pit mining operation, an
  alternate drinking water system will be provided.
  The board had recommended that a levy be granted to the Town
  of Stellarton on a per tonnage basis. But, after consulting
  with legal experts, the minister has rejected the
  recommendation, because it is beyond his statutory powers to
  impose such a stipulation.
  The Environmental Assessment Board review of the proposal
  took over four months. It included written and oral
  testimony from 94 witnesses, and 14 separate technical
  analyses, including four commissioned by the board.  
  A copy of the entire conditions of release is available.
  Contact: Paul McEachern  902-424-2575
  trp                      Nov. 01, 1995