Application 1726915

Notice of Hearing
Applications No. 1726915, 1726923, 1726927
Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd.
Vista Coal Project
McLeod River Coalfield, Hinton Area

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) will hold a public hearing of Applications No. 1726915, 1726923, 1726927. The date, time, and place of the hearing will be set after submissions have been filed by all interested parties.

If the AER does not receive any submissions from persons wishing to intervene or all interveners withdraw from the proceeding, the hearing may be cancelled and the AER will continue to process and may approve the applications without a hearing.

Description of the Applications
Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd. (Coalspur) has applied for approval to construct, operate, and reclaim a surface coal mine known as the Vista Coal Project. It would be located in portions of the following townships, all West of the 5th Meridian: Township 50, Range 23; Township 51, Range 22; Township 51, Range 23; and Township 51, Range 24. The proposed coal mine would produce 5 million tonnes of coal per year and would lie about 10 kilometres (km) east of Hinton, extending away from Hinton to the southeast for about 12 km up to the McLeod River valley. Coalspur’s applications would amend the existing approvals for a coal mine and plant in the area that are not constructed yet.

Coalspur has prepared and submitted the following applications:

  • Application No. 1726915 under sections 13 and 21 of the Coal Conservation Act and section 5 of the Coal Conservation Rules to amend Mine Permit No. C 2011-5 to construct, operate, and reclaim a coal mine and associated infrastructure. The amendment would expand the project area from 5003 hectares (ha) to 6092 ha to allow for a larger fines settling pond, an access road, and a conveyor from the coal processing plant to a load-out facility across Highway 16.
  • Application No. 1726927 under section 11 of the Coal Conservation Act and section 8 of the Coal Conservation Rules for new coal mine licences to construct, operate, and reclaim one surface pit and three external waste dumps.
  • Application No. 1726923 under section 23 of the Coal Conservation Act and sections 14 and 17 of the Coal Conservation Rules to amend Coal Processing Plant Approval No. C 2011-3 to construct and operate a coal processing plant and associated infrastructure. The amendment would relocate the plant; add a fresh water pond, a fines settling pond, and new processing facilities; and increase production capacity of the plant to 5 million tonnes of clean coal annually.

For a copy of the applications, contact
Coalspur Mines (Operations) Limited
Box 6146
Hinton, Alberta T7V 1X5
Attention: Curtis Brinker, Manager Environment and Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 780-865-7955
Fax: 780-865-3316
E-mail: CBrinker@coalspur.com

To view the applications and supporting documents, use the Proceeding Search tool available under Systems & Tools on the AER website www.aer.ca and enter Proceeding ID 309 or contact

AER Information Product Services Section
Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4
Telephone: 1-855-297-8311 (toll free; press 2)
E-mail: infoservices@aer.ca
Viewing hours: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

To expedite your request, refer to this notice when requesting information.

Requirement to File a Written Submission
If you wish to be an intervener at the hearing, you must file a written submission even if you have already filed a statement of concern with the AER or with Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd. on these applications.

Contents of a Submission
Submissions from persons wishing to intervene must be in writing and contain

a) a concise statement indicating

i) why you believe you may be directly and adversely affected by a decision of the AER on the application(s) or why you should be permitted to make representations on the matter to assist the AER, 
ii) the nature and scope of your intended participation, (i.e., whether you want to observe, make a statement, fully participate [provide evidence, cross examine, and make argument], or participate in some other manner), 
iii) the disposition of the proceeding you advocate, 
iv) a brief description of the evidence you intend to present including, if any, the types of expert reports you intend to submit (if after receiving submissions the AER decides you are an intervener, it will ask you to submit your evidence and may require additional information and submissions),
v) the reasons you believe the AER should decide in the manner you advocate, andvi) your efforts to resolve          issues directly with the applicant;

b) your contact information including your name, address in Alberta, telephone number, fax number, if any, and an e-mail address;

c) if you have a representative, their name, address in Alberta, telephone number, fax number, if any, and an e-mail address; and

d) if you are acting on behalf of a group or association of persons, the nature of your membership in the group or association.

Confidentiality
Section 49 of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice (Rules of Practice) requires that all documents and information filed in a proceeding be placed on the public record. If you file a submission, you must not include any personal information that you do not want to appear on or are not authorized to put on the public record. Section 49(2) of the Rules of Practice states how to apply to the AER for an order to keep information confidential.

Questions of Constitutional Law
In addition to giving notice according to section 12 of the Administrative Procedures and Jurisdiction Act and schedule 2 of the Designation of Constitutional Decision Makers Regulation, you must include the following information in your submission and file it according to the dates listed under How to File a Submission if you intend to raise a question of constitutional law:     

a) the constitutional question you intend to raise
b) the legal argument you intend to make
c) the evidence you intend to rely on in support of your legal argument

Under section 21 of the Responsible Energy Development Act, the AER does not have jurisdiction to assess the adequacy of Crown consultation associated with the rights of aboriginal peoples as recognized and affirmed under the Constitution Act.

How to File a Submission
Submissions must be filed before 4:00 p.m., on the filing dates below.

September 10, 2013     -Final date for submissions by all interested parties.
September 20, 2013    -Final date for response submissions from the applicant.

Submissions must be compatible with AER systems and should be PDF documents with bookmarks, page numbers, and optical character recognition. Send one copy of your submission to Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd. at the name and address above and one copy to Curtis Evans either by e-mail at Curtis.Evans@aer.ca or by mail to

Curtis Evans, Application Coordinator
Oil Sands and Coal Branch, Coal and Major Applications Section
Alberta Energy Regulator
Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4

Compensation Issues
Submissions relating exclusively to compensation for land use are not dealt with by the AER and should be referred to the Alberta Surface Rights Board.

Eligibility for Hearing-Related Costs for Participants
Participants in a hearing who intend to seek advanced payment or repayment of hearing-related costs must apply according to Directive 031: REDA Energy Cost Claims.

For information on AER procedures, contact the application coordinator, Curtis Evans, by phone at 403-297-8386 or by e-mail to Curtis.Evans@aer.ca.

Issued at Calgary, Alberta, on August 15, 2013.

ALBERTA ENERGY REGULATOR
Patricia M. Johnston, Q.C., General Counsel