LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. — For many people living in the Crowsnest Pass, the proposed Grassy Mountain coal project presented an opportunity to get back to the region’s glory days.
However, a recent panel review found Benga Mining Limited’s Grassy Mountain Coal project is not in the public interest and has denied the provincial applications citing environmental concerns such as the impact on water quality, native trout species and biodiversity in the region.
For Crowsnest Pass Mayor Blair Painter, the report came as a shocking disappointment. “Our community was founded on coal. That’s what our community does and it has from day one,” said Painter.
“Right now, there’s a great demand for high-grade metallurgical coal. This would have definitely given us the opportunity to diversify our tax base.”
According to the Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce, the majority of businesses in the area are in favour of the project. “There were over 150 businesses directly contacted and individually interviewed.