Impacts of the proposed Teck Frontier Oil Sands Mine

Reference Number

Here are some of my concerns about proposed Teck oil sands mine:

  1. Adverse effects on migratory birds: This project will have adverse effects on nearly 1 million migratory birds that use the four major flyways that overlap this area. This project will introduce nearly 5,000 hectares of tailings ponds that have indirect and direct lethal impacts on migrating birds. The conditions proposed are not effective at mitigating lethal impacts of tailings ponds, and will not address the long-term—and often irreversible—loss of wetlands and old-growth forest habitat. Stronger conditions should be added that appropriately address the risks that tailings ponds pose to migratory birds. 
  2. Adverse effects on Wood Buffalo National Park and the Peace-Athabasca Delta: The project will likely have adverse effects on Wood Buffalo National Park. Despite being Canada’s largest National Park, it is losing some of the many attributes that have made it ecologically and culturally valuable. Degradation of the Park has been linked to industrial activities upstream on the Athabasca River, and the proposed mine would contribute to the cumulative negative impacts on the Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the largest freshwater inland deltas. The mine, if approved, would be the closest oil sands development project to the Park, and risks causing irreversible damage on the outstanding universal values of Wood Buffalo from spills, leaks, water withdrawals, malfunctions and tailings management failures.
  3. Adverse effects to the Endangered Whooping Cranes: The project will likely have adverse effects on Whooping Crane that fly over the project area to reach their breeding grounds, and the conditions proposed do not effectively mitigate these risks. As a critically Endangered species with only one small remaining naturally breeding population, they are sensitive to changes in habitat along their migration route. The mine will increase mortality risk during their migration and could impair the success of their recovery. Precautionary conditions are needed to address the uncertainty around the future of this population of Whooping Crane. 
  4. Adverse effects on the Threatened Wood Bison: The project will have adverse effects on the Ronald Lake Wood Bison herd, one of the only free-roaming populations of disease-free Wood Bison and species at risk. Habitat loss is a primary threat to Wood Bison recovery, and the proposed project footprint will result in substantial loss of habitat for the herd, removing large portions of high-quality habitat across all seasons. Importantly, there is a high risk that habitat loss will push the Ronald Lake bison herd into areas of overlap with nearby diseased herds, which would directly impact Indigenous communities that rely on the disease-free bison. Maintaining disease-free herds should be a priority for the federal government.
  5. Adverse effects from greenhouse gas emissions and contributions to climate change: The project will release a large volume of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change and making it even more difficult for Canada to meet international greenhouse gases reduction targets. If approved, this project will be one of the largest facility-based emitters of greenhouse gases in the country. 
Submitted by
Christopher O'Brien
Environmental Assessment Decision
Public Notice
Date Submitted
2019-11-26 - 12:33 PM
Date modified: