Canadian Manufacturing

AER begins public consultation on new tailings management rules

Directive will set new requirements for oilsands operators



CALGARY—The Alberta Energy Regulator is calling for public feedback on its draft directive on fluid tailings management for oilsands mining projects.

The directive follows Alberta government changes to policies surrounding the oilsands. The AER will now consult with oilsands operators, aboriginal groups, environmental NGOs, affected municipalities, and multistakeholder community groups as it moves forward in the process in implement its new framework for tailings management.

“The draft directive represents an evolution in how we will manage tailings by addressing both existing fluid tailings and new fluid tailings growth” Cal Hill, AER executive vice-president of the Strategy and Regulatory Division, said. “It establishes the requirements operators must meet in order to ensure that all fluid tailings are ready to reclaim within 10 years of the end of a mine’s life.”

The AER said the draft directive establishes the requirements operators must meet, including application requirements, review and approval process requirements, and performance reporting requirements for fluid tailings volume profiles as well as tailings management plans as part of a phased approach to implementing the TMF.

Based on information submitted in tailings management applications, the regulator will set thresholds for fluid tailings volumes.

The AER will be accepting feedback until Nov. 17.

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