Mining coal - Key potential environmental impacts
How is Canada’s coal mining industry regulated?
In Canada, industry is regulated to ensure environmental protection at all stages of coal mining.
New coal mines and expansions are required to have environmental assessments under provincial legislation and, in some cases, also need a federal environmental review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
Other regulations that may apply to coal mines include the Fisheries Act, the Canada Wildlife Act, and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
Provincial and federal regulatory agencies evaluate reclamation plans for coal mines to ensure that mining activities, such as the removal of vegetation, relocation of overburden, construction of roads, reclamation of previous mined areas and mined operations, have minimal negative effect on the environment and local communities.
Full compliance with regulations is a basic goal for coal mining companies. To monitor their progress, they use sophisticated techniques and technology to assess their environmental performance against regulations and their own corporate policies and standards. These include audits of facilities by teams of trained professionals and the use of emissions monitoring equipment.
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