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CPAWS-NWT: Comments on the proposed conditions for the Teck Frontier Oil sands project

Reference Number
1112
Date Submitted
2019-11-25 7:30:34 PM
Text

The Teck Frontier Oil Sands Mine would pose serious environmental risks to Wood Buffalo National Park, the Peace-Athabasca Delta and, ultimately, the Slave River Delta of the Northwest Territories (NWT). 

Implications for NWT people and species should be taken into account when making decisions regarding mining development in Alberta. The Slave River, located in the Northwest Territories (NWT), originates from the Peace-Athabasca Delta, where the mine would be located. The mine would increase the cumulative impacts of upstream developments which alter water flow and introduce contaminants into the Peace, Athabasca, and Slave River watersheds. Decisions made upstream, in Alberta, impact NWT water, air, wildlife and people. The downstream impacts of the mine must be accounted for in environmental assessment processes and mitigation measures should be required for all potential downstream impacts. 

The Teck Frontier Mine would be the largest open-pit mine in North America, proposed just 30 Km away from Wood Buffalo National Park, which is partially located in the NWT. Many people and species depend on the intact habitat of this park for their health and livelihood. The ecological condition of Wood Buffalo National Park is in decline. Industrial development in the oil sands region upstream in the Athabasca River watershed has negatively impacted the park and will continue to do so. The current conditions of the environmental assessment fail to address the proximity of the mine to the park and the inevitable impacts of the mine on the park’s integrity. The federal government and Parks Canada have a responsibility to prioritize the ecological integrity of the park and the current conditions do not align with this responsibility.

The proposed mitigation measures do very little to address the startling list of impacts from the mine. It is clear that the conditions are inconsistent with a healthy future for the communities that depend on the maintained ecological integrity of the region. This project is a serious danger to our people, wildlife, and boreal forest and poses risks that cannot be ignored.

This mine would put the ecological health of Wood Buffalo National Park, the Peace-Athabasca Delta, and the Slave River Delta at risk. Without improved environmental conditions, we recommend the Teck Frontier mine project proposal be rejected.

 

Submitted by
Zoe Guile
Phase
Environmental Assessment Decision
Public Notice
N/A
Date modified: