Surface Coal Mine Restrictions Announced

Environment and Labour (to April 1/08)

September 12, 2006 1:02 PM

The Department of Environment and Labour has issued an industrial approval for a surface coal mine in Cape Breton.

The approval contains more than 50 conditions that focus on protecting drinking water sources, wildlife, aesthetics, wetlands, and residential properties in the area.

Pioneer Coal Limited proposes to operate the 85 hectare surface mine near Point Aconi.

An industrial approval is the final step in the review process for such projects required by the Environment Act. It sets out in detail the daily operational requirements needed to meet the conditions of the environment assessment approval.

That approval was issued Dec. 28, 2005. Its conditions reflected public consultation and the results into the potential cumulative effects of surface coal mining in Cape Breton.

There are no other applications for surface coal mining registered with the Department of Environment and Labour.

The 316-page industrial approval document contains over 50 restrictions placed on the company.

Among the key conditions are :

-- minimizing changes to aesthetics. Rock and soil moved during the mining operation will be continually put back in place as work goes on.

-- protecting groundwater. The company will conduct extensive and ongoing monitoring of surrounding water supplies to guard against any effect from the operation of the mine.

-- monitoring wetlands. Affected wetlands must be restored in a manner consistent with Nova Scotia's Wetlands Compensation Policy.

-- protecting wildlife. The company must adhere to their Environmental Protection Plan for wildlife protection and consult with the Department of Natural Resources and/or Canadian Wildlife Services.

A complete reclamation of the site must be conducted by the company when the mine lease ends in seven years.

The company must also continue to inform the Citizen's Liaison Committee about the mine's operation.

A brief summary of the industrial approval document is located on the Environment and Labour website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/docs/PioneerCoal_IndustrialApproval.pdf . The full document is available by contacting the Sydney office of Nova Scotia Environment and Labour at 295 Charlotte Street, LHC Building, 3rd floor, or by phone at 902-563-2100.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     An industrial approval with over 50 conditions attached

has been given to a surface coal mine near Point Aconi, Cape

Breton County.

     The Department of Environment and Labour has granted

Pioneer Coal Limited permission to proceed if it meets all the

restrictions.

     The conditions focus on protecting drinking water

sources, wildlife, aesthetics, wetlands, and residential

properties in the area.

     The company will be required to rehabilitate the land as

the mining operation progresses and to keep the Citizen's

Liaison Committee informed.

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Media Contact: Bruce Nunn
              Environment and Labour
              902-424-6427
              Cell: 902-476-6454
              E-mail: nunnbx@gov.ns.ca