Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Panel Granted Six Week Extension To Submit Report
EDMONTON – A panel of experts compiling public commentary on coal mining in the Alberta Rockies has six more weeks to submit its report.
“Due to the extraordinary volume, breadth and depth of contributions provided by Albertans, the Coal Policy Committee has requested an extension of the deadline for their engagement and final reports,” a statement said. Provincial Energy Minister Sonya Savage.
“An extension until December 31 has been granted.”
The panel said it received more than 1,000 documents via email and 170 detailed written submissions, along with associated documents from 67 meetings across the province.
Created in March, the five-member panel was supposed to deliver two reports to Savage on Monday – one summarizing what he had heard and another with recommendations. The synthesis report was originally due in October, making Wednesday’s announcement its second delay.
“The Coal Policy Committee is grateful for the surge of interest throughout the engagement process,” said a statement from President Ron Wallace. “In fact, we have extended the commitment period by two months until the end of September.
“We have requested an extension of the deadline so that we can better compile, evaluate and report on the detailed and insightful comments submitted.”
Wallace promised that all submissions made to the committee would be made public. He said most strongly criticized the development of coal in the foothills and peaks of the Rockies – a beloved Alberta landscape and the source of much of the province’s drinking water.
In his statement on Wednesday, Savage said the reports would be reviewed “in detail” before they were released.
The expert group was formed in response to widespread public outcry over proposals for surface coal mines in the mountains and foothills.
Alberta has suspended sales of coal exploration leases and halted work in the most sensitive landscapes while it develops a new coal policy.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 10, 2021.
Bob Weber, The Canadian Press