Teck Frontier Oilsands Mine

In 2011 Teck Resources Limited applied to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for approvals under applicable legislation in Alberta to construct, operate and reclaim an oil sands mine and processing plant 110 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The application was considered by a federal-provincial joint impact assessment review panel, established under the Responsible Energy Development Act (Alberta) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (Canada), to exercise AER decision-making authority and assess the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the project under provincial and federal legislation. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) successfully applied to participate as an intervener in the impact assessment process to make submissions and give evidence on impacts of the proposed mine on Wood Buffalo National Park, the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the endangered whooping crane migratory bird species, and Canada’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CPAWS retained the Clinic as legal counsel to represent CPAWS at the impact assessment hearing which took place in the Fall of 2018. As legal counsel, the Clinic advised and assisted CPAWS with hearing preparation, written argument, evidence submission, preparation of witnesses, cross-examination, final argument, and cost submissions.

In July 2019 the AER approved the application and, despite finding that the project would cause significant environmental impacts that could not be mitigated, the federal-provincial joint review panel found the project was in the public interest. However, Teck Resources withdrew its application before federal approvals were issued and the oil sands mind project did not proceed to construction.