Report Will Aid Coal Mine Decisions

Environment and Labour (to April 1/08)

October 13, 2005 12:27 PM

Decisions on surface coal mine applications in Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) will benefit from the recommendations of a cumulative effects assessment commissioned by the Department of Environment and Labour and released today, Oct. 13.

"The report does not make an overall recommendation on surface coal mining in Cape Breton Regional Municipality," said Michael Baker, acting Minister of Environment and Labour. "It offers a decision-making tool that is, in many ways, unique to the area.

"We have one active surface-mining application before us and we'll be consulting this report as we consider it and any future proposals."

The report made four recommendations for the environmental assessment of surface mining applications in CBRM. They address:
-- a review of "best management practices" that might apply specifically to a proposed project;
-- detailed reclamation planning, including standards, research, evaluation, and community involvement;
-- community involvement in the application process, project activity, and reclamation;
-- the potential of effects of a surface mining project to interact with the effects of past, present, and future projects.

The department is now working to incorporate the recommendations into its decision-making process.        

The report, prepared by Dartmouth consultants Jacques Whitford, is available on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/ea/coalmining.asp . It can also be viewed at the Department of Environment and Labour's offices at 295 Charlotte St., Sydney, and at 5151 Terminal Rd., Halifax.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     A study of the cumulative effects of surface coal mining in

Cape Breton, released today (October 13th) by the Department of

Environment and Labour, will influence decisions on mining

applications.

     Michael Baker, the acting Minister of Environment and

Labour, says the report is a decision-making tool unique to Cape Breton.

     The report makes recommendations for the environmental

assessment of surface mining applications covering best

management practices, reclamation planning, community

involvement, and interactions with other projects.

     The report, prepared by Dartmouth consultants Jacques

(JAKES) Whitford, is available on the Department of Environment

and Labour's website.

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Media Contact: Bill Turpin
              Environment and Labour
              902-424-2575
              E-mail: turpinsw@gov.ns.ca