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77% of Albertans concerned about coal mining's impact on water

Last Updated Sep 7, 2021 at 11:16 am MDT

A monolith is set up near the Rocky Mountains in Alberta with a message to stop the open coal mining pits planned for the area. (CREDIT: @wildstonestories, Instagram)

CALGARY – The majority of Albertans are concerned about what impacts coal mining could have on the province’s waterways, according to a new poll.

The poll comes as Alberta’s Coal Policy Committee prepares to offer recommendations on a new coal policy.

Seventy-seven per cent of respondents to the Leger poll said they were worried about how coal mining would impact rivers and streams, and 88 per cent said they believe all coal mines–active or not–should be monitored for the release of contaminants.

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The survey also says of the people who had previously stated they were aware of the coal issue, 63 per cent said they were opposed to coal mining in the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies.

Of those aware of the coal issue, about three-in-five say the economic benefits of mining the Eastern Slopes do not outweigh the environmental damage. Less than a quarter thought economic benefits were more important.

Only 21 per cent told the pollster they supported mining in the Eastern Slopes.

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Leger also found that a good chunk of Albertans was also worried about how mining in the Rockies would impact the province’s tourism and agriculture industries.

Three-quarters say mining there should not be allowed if it negatively impacts either of those sectors.

The Leger poll was done on behalf of the Livingstone Landowners Group and was conducted between Aug. 27 and 29.