Application 1753054



WATER ACT FILES NO. 18264 and 00240557

The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB/Board) has received Application No. 1753054 and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) has received Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) Application No. 011-11187 and Water Act applications under Files No. 18264 and 00240557 from TransAlta Corporation (TransAlta), for approval of the proposed Highvale Mine Pit 09 Project (the Project). This notice is to advise interested parties that the applications are available for viewing and that the ERCB, ESRD, and other government departments are now undertaking a review of the applications.

Description of the Project
The Project is located at the Highvale Mine, which TransAlta operates as Mine Number 1769 under ERCB Permit C-88-8. The Highvale Mine is located about 70 kilometres (km) west of Edmonton to the south of Wabamun Lake. The Project development area is located in Township 50, Range 4, and Township 51, Ranges 3 and 4, about 2.5 km south of the Keephills Plant and 1 km west of the North Saskatchewan River.

The Project would include a surface mining operation at Pit 09 and construction of external overburden dumps. The proposed mining area is expected to produce an average of 2.8 million tonnes of coal per year with mining and reclamation operations expected to continue in the area until 2060.

In support of their proposal, TransAlta has prepared and submitted the following applications:

  • Application No. 1753054 to the ERCB, pursuant to Part 4, Section 11 of the Coal Conservation Act, for licences to commence surface mining activities at the proposed Pit 09 area and construction of two external overburden dumps.
  • Application No. 011-11187 to ESRD, pursuant to Part 2, Division 2, and Section 66 of the EPEA, for an amendment approval for the construction, operation, and reclamation of the proposed Project and associated infrastructure. The proposed Pit 09 development requires about 2308 hectares (ha) of disturbance. Soil material will be conserved for reclamation. The disturbed areas will be reclaimed to primary agricultural production (crop/livestock), wildlife habitat and riparian features, including an end pit lake (238 ha) and wetland features (52 ha) with an approximate total area of 290 ha.
  • Pursuant to Section 36 of the Water Act, TransAlta has applied to ESRD for activities related to the EPEA application, under Water Act Files No. 18264 (groundwater) and 00240557 (surface water), for approval to construct water management works required for the construction, operation, and reclamation of the proposed Project. The water management works would include features such as sedimentation and holding ponds, ditches, dikes, groundwater dewatering wells with a production interval of 0-63 metres for dewatering of up to 1 770 000 cubic metres of water per year, and the development of an end pit lake and wetlands as part of the reclamation of the area.

To obtain additional information or a copy of the applications (CD version also available), contact:
TransAlta Corporation
110 – 12 Avenue SW
Box 1900, Station M
Calgary, Alberta T2P 2M1
Attention: Suzanne Adrain, Environmental Specialist
Phone: 780-731-6000, Ext. 6733
Fax: 780-731-6080

To view a copy of the applications and supporting documents, contact:

ERCB Information Services
Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4
Telephone: 403-297-8311
Viewing hours: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Alberta Government Library

Great West Life Building
6th Floor, 9920 – 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2M4
Telephone: 780-427-5828
(toll free: 780-310-0000)

Copies of the application are also available for viewing at the following locations:

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Central Region
Suite 1, 250 Diamond Avenue
Spruce Grove, Alberta T7X 3B4
Telephone: 780-960-8600

Highvale Mine Site, Reception
About 70 km west of Edmonton at
4419B Sundance Road
Parkland County, Alberta

To File a Statement of Concern
Under Section 73 of EPEA and Section 109 of the Water Act, any person who may be directly affected by EPEA application or the Water Act application may submit a written statement of concern. Statements of concern under EPEA and the Water Act must be submitted by May 13, 2013. Please quote Application No. 011-11187 (EPEA) or Files No. 18264 (groundwater) and 00240557 (surface water) (Water Act) when submitting a statement of concern. If no statements of concern are received, the EPEA and Water Act applications may be approved without further notice. Failure to file a statement of concern may affect the right to file a Notice of Appeal with the Environmental Appeals Board. Please submit statements of concern to:

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Regulatory Approvals Centre
9th floor, Oxbridge Place
9820 – 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2J6
Attention: Director, Northern Region
Telephone: 780-427-6311
Fax: 780-422-0154

The ERCB also receives and reviews statements of concern sent to ESRD. Once reviewed, the ERCB may register a statement of concern as an objection to the ERCB application for the Project, depending on the nature of the concerns expressed and further correspondence with the concerned party. Any interested party can file a separate objection with the ERCB if its concerns with the Project relate only to the ERCB application. The filing deadline stated above does not apply to objections to be filed with the ERCB, unless stated otherwise in a notice or other direction of the ERCB.

Applications for Confidentiality
Section 13 of the Energy Resources Conservation Board Rules of Practice (Rules of Practice), Section 35(1) of the EPEA, and Section 15(1) of the Water Act (Ministerial) Regulation require that all documents filed in respect of this proceeding must be placed on the public record. However, any party may apply for confidentiality of information. For the ERCB, any application under Section 13(2) of the Rules of Practice must be copied to the other parties to the proceeding. For the purposes of ESRD, such requests can be filed according to Section 35(4) of the EPEA and Section 15(4) of the Water Act (Ministerial) Regulation.

For information about ERCB procedures, contact:

Oil Sands and Coal Branch
Coal and Major Applications
Attention: Fares Haddad, Application Coordinator
Telephone: 403-297-5366

Issued at Calgary, Alberta, on April 3, 2013.

Patricia Johnston, Q.C., General Counsel