Alberta scientists urge adoption of bill that would protect against coal mining – by Bob Weber (Canadian Press/Global News – April 19, 2021)

Scientists from the University of Alberta want the provincial government to rethink its plans to expand coal-mining in the Rocky Mountains.

In an open letter to all members of the United Conservative caucus, 35 members of the university’s biology department have asked the government to support a private member’s bill from Opposition Leader Rachel Notley that they say would protect the mountains and their eastern slopes.

“There is no reliable method to stop leaching of hazardous waste produced by surface coal mining into groundwater where, inevitably, it will pollute precious watersheds we all depend on that are already under severe stress,” says the letter.

It asks members of the legislature to consider Notley’s proposed legislation. The bill has been approved for debate by a legislature committee, but will die on the order paper unless all members agree to move it further up.

The law is needed to at least slow development down, said Shelagh Campbell, the biologist who started the letter.

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