Two Alberta First Nations want courts to allow appeal of decision on coal mine

A second Alberta First Nation wants the courts to allow it to appeal a review board’s decision that an open-pit coal mine in the Rocky Mountains isn’t in the public interest. 

The Stoney Nakoda Nation has filed a request with the Alberta Court of Appeal to appeal the decision, which blocked the development of Benga Mining’s proposed Grassy Mountain project. 

The Piikani First Nation filed a similar request last week.

In June, a joint federal-provincial environmental review panel recommended the project not proceed because the threat it posed to southern Alberta’s water supply was too great for the economic benefits it would have created. 

The Stoney Nakoda court filing says the panel made errors of law and procedural fairness, and adds the communities would benefit economically and culturally from the project.

Benga has filed its own appeal of the panel’s report, which caused Alberta’s energy regulator to revoke the mine’s permits. 

The application for the Stoney appeal is to be heard on Sept. 22.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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