Area Based Management Plan

Elk Valley - submitted by Teck Coal Limited

Ministerial Order No. M113 (Order) was issued in April 2013, requiring Teck Coal Limited (Teck) to prepare an Area Based Management Plan for the Elk Valley to remediate water quality effects of past coal mining and to guide future development.

Teck submitted the Area Based Management Plan (ABMP) - the "Elk Valley Water Quality Plan” on July 22, 2014.  The Minister approved the plan on November 18, 2014.

The ABMP was developed with the following objectives and outcomes for the designated area:

  • Protection of the aquatic ecosystem health,
  • Management of bioaccumulation of contaminants in the receiving environment,
  • Protection of human health, and
  • Protection of groundwater.

The ABMP is a plan to stabilize and reverse concentrations of selenium, cadmium, nitrate and sulphate in the Fording and Elk Rivers and the rate of formation of calcite in the designated area.  Specifically, the plan:

  • Sets short, medium and long-term targets for selenium, cadmium, nitrate and sulphate in water and for the reduction of calcite in the designated area,
  • Identifies water quality mitigation measures, including water treatment and diversions, and defines a schedule for implementation,
  • Includes an adaptive management approach to ensure that the plan evolves with monitoring information, outcomes of research and development, and advances in science and technology, and
  • Incorporates ongoing monitoring to assess water quality and aquatic health during the implementation of the plan to confirm objectives are met.

With approval of the ABMP, the plan will provide guidance to statutory decision makers under the Environmental Management Act as they consider future discharge proposals in the Elk Valley.

Annexes to the Plan