“The Alberta government respects the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation, which is the result of a rigorous review process carried out by the Alberta Energy Regulator and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.
“All proposed coal projects are subject to stringent review to ensure development is safe, environmentally responsible and meets all requirements. In this case, the process worked as it should. The panel’s recommendation demonstrates that Alberta’s legislative and regulatory framework is robust and thoroughly considers environmental impacts as part of any resource development project.
“We acknowledge that the Joint Review Panel determined the project would result in adverse environmental effects on surface water quality – particularly on westslope cutthroat trout and their habitat. We take this concern seriously. Alberta has a long history of responsibly managing our water resources to ensure healthy, secure and sustainable water for our communities, the environment and the economy. Despite falsehoods being perpetuated by some whose intent is to stoke fear and confusion on this matter, our government has not made changes to water protection legislation or water allocations in southern Alberta.
“The protection of our lands and water remains of critical importance as we develop our natural resources. Comprehensive land-use planning supports conservation and environmental protection efforts while ensuring our tourism, agriculture, energy and forestry sectors can be developed in a sustainable way.
“The Government of Alberta is committed to responsible resource development. We are continuing the process of widespread public engagement to inform the province’s long-term approach to coal and will have more to say on water quality management in the days ahead.”