Alberta’s Frontier oil sands mine ordered to Deal with impact on world heritage Website

The federal-provincial panel conducting an environmental review of the proposed Frontier oil sands mine project in northern Alberta has been arranged to consider its effects on Wood Buffalo National Park as requested by the United Nations’ World Heritage Committee.

In a report in March according to a trip to the 45,000-square-kilometre playground, a world heritage site since 1983, the UN agency warned of danger from industrial growth and said the park could be designated “at risk” if Canada did not implement 17 recommendations.

It set a deadline of February, 2018, for Canada to demonstrate its plan to satisfy those recommendations and another deadline of December, 2018, to demonstrate progress.

According to the report, the Frontier project would move oil sands development closer to the southern border of the park, increasing the risk that it and its own herd of wood bison may be affected by leaks and spills from tailings ponds and other water and air pollution.

The panel is to consider possible environmental impacts of the project on the value of the world heritage site, such as the Peace-Athabasca Delta, and address it in another chapter of its report.

Project proponent Teck Resources Ltd. has said oil production in the 260,000-barrel-a-day Frontier will not occur until 2026 at the earliest.

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