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Heavy rain impacting energy development sites 

Heavy rain across Alberta is causing flooding and excessive surface runoff, which is impacting energy development sites, including coal mines.

Some coal mines in the Hinton and Grande Cache areas have reported that excessive flows of rainwater into mine wastewater ponds is resulting in wastewater (a mixture of surface runoff and sediment) being discharged into the environment above approved water-quality limits or from unauthorized discharge points and is causing damage to mine wastewater infrastructure due to erosion from the rain. Under normal operating conditions, these ponds are designed and approved to collect runoff so the sediment can settle prior to the water being released into the environment.

There have been no reported impacts to public safety.

AER inspectors are actively working with mine operators and will continue to visit the mine sites today to ensure they are taking appropriate action to respond to the impacts from excessive runoff and flooding.

The rain is expected to ease up in the eastern slopes later today.

We will continue to monitor the situation across the province and respond to impacts at other energy development sites should they arise.

The AER will notify potentially affected stakeholders and provide updates on our website if the situation deteriorates.