February 16, 2004

Stellarton mine expansion approved

HALIFAX, NS-Nova Scotia's Department of Environment and Labour has approved Pioneer Coal's application to extend the Stellarton pit mine. The expansion will cover an additional area of about 50 hectares, although mine production levels and coal trucking will remain unchanged. The department refused the company's request to operate the mine on a 24-hour basis; mining and site-related activity are limited to between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. unless otherwise permitted by the department. As well, no coal extraction is allowed during July and August unless approved by the department. The approval requires the company to continue environmental monitoring programs for such things as air quality, noise and surface and groundwater quality. Other conditions address surface water collection systems, wastewater and runoff retention and treatment, and plans for erosion, sediment control and site reclamation. Coal from the mine is trucked to Nova Scotia Power's Trenton generating station. The complete environmental assessment approval, including the company's original application, may be viewed on the Environment and Labour Web site, www.gov.ns.ca/enla/ess/ea/.
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