Alberta has a rich industrial history that features hundreds of years of mining of natural commodities, including oil sands, coal, limestone, salt, shale, sandstone and more. As an employer of nearly 150,000 Canadians and with an estimated $1.7 trillion in activity expected by 2036, the mining industry plays an important role in Canada’s economy both domestically and abroad.
In recognition of the demand such activities place on the land, as well as our resources, the Alberta Government holds projects and companies to standards outlined in the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA). The goal of the EPEA is to ensure that mining companies help reclaim Alberta’s land to a productive state. Learn more about the guidelines the of the EPEA, as well as the importance of reclamation below.
Designed To Guide And Protect
Under the ordinance of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the objective of conservation and reclamation efforts is to return land to an equivalent capability. In essence, this means that while it may not be possible to return a site to the exact condition it was in prior to mining or excavation, the land should be able to support similar uses as before with efforts being taken to mitigate the long term damage or negative effects to the environment. The EPEA mandates that mining operations must:
- Operate under approved plans and have ongoing reclamation efforts.
- Undergo a cumulative environmental impact assessment.
- Acquire reclamation approvals and renew after a period of 10 years, and more.
Why Does Reclamation Matter?
Land reclamation plays a crucial role in protecting our environment and landscape against the damage caused by extracting natural resources for everyday use. Without reclamation efforts, the strain placed on the land could lead to significant, irrevocable damage. Conserving our lands not only protects our resources today, but ensures a safe path for the future.
Partnering With ESAK Consulting
With over 25 years of experience, ESAK Consulting Ltd. is proud to be a leading provider of custom environmental services and training throughout Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Our areas of expertise span a wide range of environmental services, including land reclamation issues such as conducting assessments, mitigation planning, preparation of monitoring programs, and more.
Learn how ESAK can help you abide by reclamation standards and make the most of your project site by contacting our team today.