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Blog: Alberta Court of Appeal Finds the ‘Big Molly’ Project Triggered a Full Environmental Impact Assessment

12-May-20

By Eric Appelt and Sean Parker

In the recent decision of Alexis v Alberta (Environment and Parks), 2020 ABCA 188 (“Alexis”), the Alberta Court of Appeal interpreted important environmental legislation and provided guidance on when a full environmental impact assessment (“EIA”) will be required for a project.

The key issue in Alexis was whether the proposed silica-sand extraction project met the definition of a “quarry” under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Assessment Act (“EPEA”), and therefore was a “mandatory activity” under the Environmental Assessment (Mandatory and Exempted Activities) Regulation (“the “Regulation”). The Court found that the project was a “quarry” and a “mandatory activity”, and accordingly triggered an EIA under section 44(1)(a) of EPEA.

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