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ABP frustrated with coal policy consultation

ABP frustrated with coal policy consultation

Members of the organization voice their concerns

Staff Writer

Representatives from the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) recently released a statement over concerns their members are bringing up about open-pit coal extraction in the eastern slopes of Alberta.

Beef producers in the area are concerned about the potential impacts on water quantity and quality, air quality and biodiversity, said the statement.

“We're continually concerned about (these three issues) for our producers. Access to water, that is essential to our producers. Ensuring that we have a healthy environment to be operating in, those are all things that we continue to be concerned with, as well as access to grazing,” said Kelly Smith-Fraser, ABP chair.

On June 1, 2020 the Government of Alberta rescinded the 1976 A Coal Development Policy for Alberta. The policy divided the province into four categories which dictated where and how coal leasing, exploration and development could occur. The policy has since become obsolete and therefore it was rescinded, said the government’s website.

While future coal development projects will continue to be reviewed, producers in the area felt there wasn’t a proper public consultation before this policy change, said Smith-Fraser.

“We really believe that a proper public consultation should have occurred and appreciate the fact that (the government has) paused some of those coal leases that they had previously approved, just to go back hopefully to do a proper public consultation,” she told

ABP staff recognize the need to modernize outdated policy and is not opposed to environmentally responsible resource extraction but would had liked the public consultation to have occurred before the change, said the statement.

Emholk/iStock / Getty Images Plus photo

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