May 31, 2004

Taylor accepts ruling on approval of Capstone water diversion proposal

EDMONTON, ALTA-Environment Minister Lorne Taylor has accepted the provincial Environmental Appeals Board decision concerning Alberta Environment's preliminary approval of a proposal by Capstone Energy to divert water from the Red Deer River to assist with enhanced oil recovery and extraction in central Alberta. The 91-page ruling supports Alberta Environment's decision to grant the licence but recommends that the amount of water allowed by the licence be reduced from 900 to 600 cubic metres per day and that the licence term be limited to one year. These recommended terms are based on evidence presented at hearings held in Red Deer this past February. The Appeals Board has also advised the Minister to direct Capstone to seek alternate, non-potable water sources for its operations, noting that the licence can be modified as appropriate if alternate sources can reduce the amount of freshwater allocated under its existing terms. A copy of the Ministerial Order approving the Board's ruling, as well as the full text of the Board's decision, may be viewed online at www.gov.ab.ca/eab, or requested from the Environmental Appeals Board, 780/427-6207.
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