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Appendix 8 Approved Management Plans

March 2018
MacKenzie Redcap Project

Appendix 8 – Approved Management Plans

List of Management Plans Included


Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan

Harlequin Duck Management Plan

Ambient Air Monitoring Program

Groundwater Monitoring Plan

Haul Road Water Management Program

Selenium Management Plan

Teck Resources Limited


March 2018
GRIZZLY BEAR 10-YEAR MANAGEMENT PLAN
FOR THE CHEVIOT MINE PERMIT AREA

Prepared by:

Teck Coal Limited


Cardinal River Operations
Hinton, Alberta

Revised April 15, 2011


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Teck Coal Limited would like to acknowledge the invaluable efforts and expertise of John
Kansas of Hab-Tech Environmental in his preparation and refinement of this document. Other
contributors include Marc Symbaluk, Leo Paquin and Nikiea Hope of Teck Coal Limited and
Curtis Brinker of Silkstone Environmental Ltd.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................... 1


1.1 Vision Statement .............................................................................................................. 1
1.2 Rationale and Scope of Plan............................................................................................. 1
2.0 ON-SITE MANAGEMENT GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS ................................ 3
2.1 Management Plan Goals ...................................................................................................... 3
2.2 On-site Management Objectives .......................................................................................... 4
2.3 On-site Management Actions and Strategies ....................................................................... 4
2.3.1 Objective 1 Reclamation Planning for Grizzly Bear Habitat........................................ 4
2.3.2 Objective 2 Identify, Track and Minimize Habitat Disturbance and Access .............. 7
2.3.3 Objective 3 Improve Knowledge of Grizzly Bear/Mining/Human Use Interactions .. 7
2.3.4 Objective 4 Limit Human-caused Mortality ................................................................ 9
2.4 Regional Considerations .................................................................................................... 10
3.0 MEASURES OF SUCCESS AND MONITORING ............................................................ 12
3.1 Reclamation Planning for Grizzly Bear Habitat (Objective #3) .................................... 12
3.1.1 Measures of Success ............................................................................................... 12
3.1.2 Monitoring .............................................................................................................. 14
3.2 Identify, Minimize and Track Habitat Disturbance (Objective #2) ............................... 15
3.2.1 Measures of Success ............................................................................................... 15
3.2.2 Monitoring .............................................................................................................. 15
3.3 Improve Knowledge of Grizzly Bear/Mining Interactions (Objective #4) .................... 16
3.3.1 Measures of Success ............................................................................................... 16
3.3.2 Monitoring .................................................................................................................. 16
3.4 Limit Human-caused Mortality (Objective #1) .............................................................. 16
3.4.1 Measures of Success ............................................................................................... 16
3.4.2 Monitoring .............................................................................................................. 16
4.0 ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT .......................................................................................... 18
5.0 REPORTING AND SCHEDULING ................................................................................. 19
6.0 LITERATURE CITED ...................................................................................................... 22

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LIST OF TABLES
5.1 Adaptive management framework 16

LIST OF FIGURES (at end of report)

1. Cheviot Mine Permit showing 1996 and 2008 footprints


2. Cheviot mine footprint to date
3. Location of Bear Management Unit 4B
4. Grizzly bear GPS points showing occupancy of Luscar/Gregg and Cheviot mines

LIST OF APPENDICES

A. Background, Status and Limiting Factors

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1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Vision Statement

Teck Coal Limited‟s Cardinal River Operations (CRO) envisions future on-site development of
the Cheviot mine contributing positively to the long-term viability of a self-sustaining and
regionally connected grizzly bear population in Bear Management Area 4B (Alberta Grizzly
Bear Recovery Plan 2008) both during mining and following reclamation. Teck envisions that
this development will also benefit other carnivores and the habitats and prey that sustain them.
Teck also envisions this development taking place within a regional planning and regulatory
framework/process that empowers land managers and stakeholders. Teck envisions continuing
to be a key partner in this regional process.

1.2 Rationale and Scope of Plan

CRO has applied for renewal of EPEA Approval #46972 for the Cheviot mine for a second 10-
year period. As part of this application CRO requested that certain conditions in current ERCB
Mine Permit #C 2003-4 be revised. The Carnivore Compensation Work Plan is one of nine
environmental work plans associated with the existing EPEA approval and ERCB Mine Permit.
CRO has committed to developing an on-site management plan that addresses key elements of
this work plan while incorporating information gained over the past ten years of regional and
local grizzly bear monitoring and input from regulatory agencies. The final version of this
management plan will form the basis of CRO‟s activities regarding grizzly bears for the next 10-
year EPEA approval.

This plan addresses the management of the next decade of CRO‟s on-site mining infrastructure
and activities to minimize adverse impacts on grizzly bears. It is assumed that managing
ecological and landscape conditions in the Cheviot mine permit area to sustain grizzly bears will
also benefit other large carnivores. Given the large home ranges of grizzly bears, complex trans-
boundary management regime, and the uncertainties associated with the impacts of the mine and
other land users on bears, it is essential that this plan is science-based and incorporates the
principles of adaptive management. An adaptive approach underpinned by focused inventory
and monitoring will provide greater assurance that grizzly bear management goals will be
achieved.

It is expected that mitigation, reclamation and monitoring activities will be revised periodically
as our understanding of grizzly bears evolves, as local and regional human use patterns change,
and as the results of our research and adaptive monitoring programs dictate. Regional planning
initiatives such as the Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan and the Upper Athabasca Land Use
Framework may also result in modifications to this plan. We anticipate that the plan will need to
be revised in an adaptive approach as our understanding of other ecological parameters, species
and reclamation objectives evolves.

This Plan focuses on future, past and present mining activities within the 7,200-ha Cheviot mine
permit area (Figure 1) and their potential effects on grizzly bears. Managing the effects of
CRO‟s mining activities on grizzly bears in the Cheviot mine permit area is the responsibility of

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 1


CRO. Other land use activities occur in the greater area surrounding the Cheviot mine permit as
well as, importantly, within the permit area. CRO recognizes that these other land use activities
have potential to impact grizzly bears using the mine permit area both incrementally and
cumulatively. As such one of the objectives of the plan is to promote regional planning activities
that are consistent with this Plan‟s vision statement. Section 2.4 of the Plan identifies regional
strategies that CRO believes are consistent with maintaining grizzly bear populations in the
Cheviot region. While CRO cannot be responsible for implementing these regionally-based
strategies, the strategies identified will be encouraged throughout the life of the Plan by CRO.
For each regional strategy we propose how and to what extent CRO might contribute
cooperatively.

Site-specific habitat targets are not included in this plan. Rather, it provides a conceptual
description of targets. Detailed site-specific targets are provided in individual pit development
applications where the mining/reclamation details can best be described with some confidence.
This is discussed further in Section 2.3.1 (Reclamation Planning).

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2.0 ON-SITE MANAGEMENT GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS
CRO recognizes that management of grizzly bears must be implemented at various scales. The
Cheviot permit area occurs within dominantly subalpine and upper foothills habitats of BMA 4B.
In Alberta, these habitats currently support an estimated 25+/- bears or 4 to 5% of the provincial
population. Of the grizzly bears estimated to occur in BMA 4B, portions of the home ranges of
perhaps a half-dozen grizzlies might overlap with the Cheviot mine permit area in a given year
(Stevens and Duval 2005). Some of these bears spend a portion of their annual and lifetime
ranges in nearby Jasper National Park, Whitehorse Wildland Park, or on public lands within the
foothills. CRO‟s mining activities within the Cheviot Permit area have potential to directly
affect, either positively or adversely, this subset of Alberta grizzly bears that overlaps with its
Permit area. As such the goals, objectives and strategies outlined below in Section 4.0 focus on
land actions within the Cheviot permit. This is the focus of the management plan as requested by
AENV/ASRD/ERCB in discussions on June 17-2009.

CRO also recognizes that for the on-site management goals and objectives for the Cheviot mine
to be most successful, they must be supportive of and consistent with regional goals to achieve
effective grizzly bear recovery and conservation (Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Team 2008).
Goals and objectives of the evolving Land Use Framework will also be integral to this process.
ASRD has not yet developed a regional bear management plan as part of its provincial recovery
plan, and the Land Use Framework will not likely work its way down to the regional landscape
for some time. Section 5.0 of the report outlines and discusses CRO‟s understanding of regional
goals and strategies required for grizzly bear population sustainability and persistence in the
region surrounding the Cheviot mine permit area. CRO provides this discussion on regional
considerations to contribute to the development of an effective regional framework and plan.

2.1 Management Plan Goals

1. To ensure that the Cheviot mine and its activities contribute positively to the long-term
viability of a self-sustaining and regionally connected grizzly bear population in BMU
#4B during mining (by minimizing mortality) and following reclamation (by enhancing
habitat conditions and minimizing mortality).

2. To continue to encourage regional land managers to develop a regional grizzly bear


recovery implementation plan and to implement effective management framework and
strategies, and to be a key partner in this process.

Goal #1 is the focus of on-site management objectives and strategies discussed in this section
(4.0). Objectives and strategies related to Goal #2 are regional in nature and are discussed in the
appendix.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 3


2.2 On-site Management Objectives

Listed below are those specific management objectives that are consistent with CRO‟s vision and
goals for grizzly bears in the Cheviot mine permit area. Some of these objectives closely mirror
those set by the Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Team (2008) at the provincial scale of
management. Limiting human-caused mortality is considered to be the primary objective of this
management plan.

Objective 1 Mine and reclaim the landscape to return safe and effective habitat for grizzly
bears.

Objective 2 Identify, track and minimize mine-related disturbance of and access into grizzly
bear habitat within the mine permit area.

Objective 3 Improve knowledge of grizzly bear response to mining land use during active
mining and at varying stages of reclamation associated with the full life cycle of
the mine.

Objective 4 Minimize the rate of human/grizzly bear conflicts on the Mineral Surface Lease
and Mine Permit. Specifically, limit the number of direct mine-caused grizzly
bear mortalities and removals to zero.

Objective 5 Encourage and support grizzly bear and other carnivore management initiatives
that will have an influence within the Cheviot permit area.

Objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4 are on-site objectives that pertain primarily to management at the mine
permit scale. On-site objectives are within the direct influence and control of CRO. Objective 5
involves actively supporting regional, cooperative initiatives that will rely on coordination with
other land users (and regulators) at the regional (BMA 4B) level. Regional objectives are the
ultimate responsibility of the Alberta government. CRO will continue to promote regional
strategies associated with Objective 5 but cannot be expected to meet targets associated with
these objectives as numerous land users and government regulators are involved. Regional
objectives and strategies are discussed in the appendix.

2.3 On-site Management Actions and Strategies

Described below are on-site management actions and strategies that will be implemented to meet
each of the four on-site objectives outlined in Section 2.2 (i.e. Objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4).

2.3.1 Objective 1 Reclamation Planning for Grizzly Bear Habitat

The strategies outlined below are intended to guide mining and reclamation activities such that
resulting forage/prey resources and security cover are used by grizzly bears naturally, promptly
and with minimal mortality risk.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 4


 Reclaim mined areas promptly in a phased manner.

 Utilize direct placement of topsoil where possible to optimize native plant materials in
the soil. Direct placement will optimize Hedysarum spp. growth and this is a key spring
and fall food for grizzly bears in the Cheviot area (especially females). Avoid use of
aggressive agronomic species in these areas, so native species such as Hedysarum will
have better success.

 Follow an overall natural recovery strategy where feasible, including the salvage of
woody debris/organic matter and rough-mounded soil placement.

 Utilize native seed mixes that are designed for a variety of ecological/topographic site
conditions.

 Include planting/ seeding of known key grizzly bear foods on appropriate sites. Favoured
grizzly bear plant foods that should be considered in the reclamation program are
Buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis) and Bearberry (Arctostaphylus uva-ursi) on south
and west facing slopes; blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) on moderate north and west facing
slopes, Hairgrass (Deschampsis cespitosa), Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) and
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) on flat/gentle slopes and seepage areas. All of these
species are known to volunteer on reclaimed sites; establishment by planting/seeding has
not been proven for such species as horsetail and cow parsnip, and CRO has not yet
attempted blueberry or bearberry.

 Plant dense pockets of shrubs and trees („micro-security sites‟) in areas strategically
selected to optimize hiding and security cover and cross-mine movement for grizzly
bears. Consider alder for shrub plantings as it is a nitrogen fixer.

 Avoid the use of clover in future reclamation along roadsides. Identify concentrations of
clover currently occurring along open public roads and eliminate these sources of grizzly
bear attractant. Include white clover in the mine reclamation as a soil builder particularly
on steep, erodible sites where native plant reclamation success might be limited. Avoid
large, dense pockets of clover in areas of the mine that are line of sight from trails and
potential illegal hunting.

 Implement strategic physical landform design within reclamation planning. This would
include re-establishment of key wildlife movement corridors, development of line of
sight breaks, intentional land surface roughness and funneling to discourage or direct
motorized use, and vegetation community selection (Symbaluk 2008).

 Disruption of line-of-sight is important for the persistence of larger focal carnivores such
as wolves and grizzly bears with regards to habitat security and potential susceptibility to
hunting and poaching. Lines of sight near roads or OHV trails should be obscured. This
could be achieved by direct placement of soil and /or rock or the establishment of
vegetative cover along roads and trails.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 5


 Follow a landscape design that provides a landscape consisting of a range of topographic
features ranging from variable-aspect rolling terraced hillsides and water bodies with
periodic terraced cliffs, talus slopes and escarpments. Current landscape includes natural
cuts, walls and scree/talus slopes. Attempt to approximate current landscape pattern to
the degree possible.

 Preservation or reconstruction of draws, gullies and other topographical features that


influence moisture conditions should be encouraged/initiated to promote the return of the
specialized riparian vegetation communities of value to grizzly bears in spring and early
summer.

 Avoid establishing dense stands of agronomic grasses and legumes over large land areas
(as per Luscar/Gregg reclamation) to minimize concentrations of ungulates significantly
beyond which are representative of natural [post-fire] vegetation succession.

 In selected areas that are designated as key foraging sites for ungulates use productive,
palatable grasses and legumes to “kick start” grizzly bear response to the mine reclaimed
areas. These should be relatively remote areas with limited access or line-of-sight from
humans.

 Monitor the timing and extent of use of reclaimed mine areas by ungulates and grizzly
bears including the use of ungulates as prey.

Site-specific habitat targets are not included in this plan. The list noted above provides a
conceptual description of targets. Detailed landscape-level targets are provided in individual pit
development applications where the mining/reclamation details can be presented with some
confidence. For example, in the McLeod-Harris pit application, specific targets are provided in
terms of:

 disturbance footprint (Table 36.3).


 seed mix and planted species (Tables 36.2 and 36.4).
 pre-disturbance ecosites and post-reclamation vegetation communities (Table 36.5).
 spatial distribution and topographic configuration of pre-mine and post-reclamation
communities (Figure 5 of Appendix 4.5; Figure 36.1 of the application).
 Discussion and rationalization of discrepancies between pre-disturbance and post-
reclamation landscape and vegetation (pages 132-135 of the application).

The application describes closure vegetation expectations and provides a schedule that ends with
reclamation certification (Table 36.6). Similar details were also provided in the Prospect (2006)
and Cheviot (2003) pit applications. These details cannot be provided in the 10-year grizzly bear
management plan because CRO does not have detailed mine plans developed for the 10-year
period.

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2.3.2 Objective 2 Identify, Track and Minimize Habitat Disturbance and Access

The management strategies outlined below are intended to objectively document landscape
change in the Cheviot mine permit area as a basis for understanding, monitoring and managing
grizzly bear and human response to mining land use. The information collected as part of these
management strategies will be used to identify potential conflict areas and minimize habitat
disturbance.

 Maintain an accurate and up to date baseline of mining disturbance and disturbance from
other human uses in the Cheviot mine permit area. This would include status of mining
and reclamation as well as linear features and their levels of use by motorized and non-
motorized users. The latter will include mining exploration roads and trails.

 Monitor the levels of alteration of mapped habitat types in the mine permit area and
MSLs including changes in areas and status of reclamation.

 Periodically monitor changes in human land use over time in the mine permit area using
satellite imagery, and infra-red motorized and non-motorize traffic/trail counters, and
remote cameras.

 Compare changes in human land use with grizzly bear landscape use and identify
zones/areas in the mine permit area of highest potential conflict and mortality risk
(grizzly and human).

 Minimize human/grizzly bear overlap in identified conflict zones through temporary


road/trail closures, signage, and public education.

 Conduct grizzly bear den searches in areas to be disturbed in winter months, prior to the
land disturbance but after denning. If a den is found, we will determine if it can be
avoided until spring. If not, we will investigate other options.

2.3.3 Objective 3 Improve Knowledge of Grizzly Bear/Mining/Human Use Interactions

Scientific understanding of grizzly bear and human recreational land use response to mining is in
its infancy. The intent of these management strategies is to ensure a solid scientific basis for
testing and adapting reclamation and protection approaches. The overall approach to research
will be to focus on substantive issues (i.e. human-caused mortality and use of natural recovery
based reclamation) and to design research to more fully understand human land use and
associated mortality risk. The strategies outlined below pertain to lands within the Cheviot mine
permit area. Ideally such studies would be conducted in a broader regional context with added
participation and resources from government agencies and other natural resource development
agencies.

 Continue to conduct baseline research and follow-up monitoring to improve knowledge


of the response to grizzly bears to active mining, reclamation and decommissioning/end

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 7


land use. Consider the use of non-invasive methods such as DNA hair snagging
(population monitoring studies) and observational (bear behavior) studies.

 Develop a long-term relationship with academic researchers and work towards a “center
of excellence‟ concept for grizzly bear response to mining.

 Conduct social research into human land use types, magnitude and patterns on the mine
permit area including the MSLs. Coordinate improved human land use understanding
with grizzly bear monitoring, with the goal of limiting grizzly bear/human interactions
and mortality risk in time and space.

 Formally and actively include a full range of local land users (of the Mine permit area) in
any academic research in order to capture local knowledge of human land use patterns
and grizzly bear ecology.

 Directly link reclamation inventory and monitoring results with human land use grizzly
bear land use findings.

In addition to our long-term support of the FRI bear research program since 1998, we are
currently supporting research work being conducted through the University of Alberta. This
work has focused on grizzly bear ecology and behaviours in relation to coal mining and will,
through future research on human-bear interactions, provide answers to the questions of bear
mortality risk assessment and habituation.

We acknowledge that the question of bear habituation while on the mine-site is uncertain but we
are not aware of any evidence directly supporting the concern of potential habituation of bears
while on our mine-site. CRO employees are trained to avoid encounters and activities that would
lead to bear habituation and our observations indicate that bears are neither attracted nor
habituated to any of the human activities on the mine-site. They appear to be there for the foods
available on and adjacent to the mine-site, and may also be there because they are not
encountering conflict situations with humans. They tend to avoid active mining areas, and we
have had no bear-human conflict encounters (i.e. resulting in danger to bears) in the 7 years that
the Cheviot mine has been operating, and are not aware of any earlier conflict encounters. This
suggests that in spite of the common on-site presence of bears at certain times of year, a safe
distance is being maintained between their activities and ours and therefore do not require the
application of aversive conditioning.

This does not suggest that active management is not required at our operations on matters such as
awareness and waste management. The risk of habituation for grizzly bears is real, as evidenced
in recent years by ASRD‟s removal of a mature sow and female cub from Cadomin in response
to their conditioning due to ready and repeated access to dog food within that community.
CRO‟s management actions to avoid potential habituation are described in Table 5.1.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 8


2.3.4 Objective 4 Limit Human-caused Mortality

The strategies outlined below are intended to limit the incremental grizzly bear mortality
associated directly with Cheviot mine operations, reclamation and decommissioning. These
strategies pertain directly to lands within the Cheviot mine permit area including Mineral Surface
Leases.

 Continue to prohibit the carrying and discharge of firearms on the Mineral Surface Lease
of the mine and especially in reclaimed areas that are frequented by grizzly bears for
seasonal foraging.

 Identify reclaimed and undisturbed areas within the Cheviot mine permit area that are
most commonly used by grizzly bears and enact measures to minimize human/grizzly
bear interactions in these areas (e.g. temporary trail closures; education/orientation/
signage).

 Continue to support research by the University of Alberta and other academia that
increases our understanding of grizzly bear response to active mining and reclamation
and to identify possible areas and periods of mortality risk.

 Continue to support monitoring of human use patterns, types and levels in the Cheviot
mine permit area in order to identify areas of highest mortality risk. Consider the use of
trail cameras, infra-red trail counters and other means of enumerating motorized and non-
motorized human use of linear features. Seek regional multi-stakeholder cooperation for
this study.

 Identify prevalent seasonal grizzly bear movement areas across and around the Mine
permit area through research. Utilize non-invasive methods such as remote cameras,
DNA hair snagging and observational studies to the extent possible.

 Retain tree islands and re-establish tree and tall shrub communities in the mined matrix to
promote grizzly bear security, occupancy and movement across the mine site. Monitor
the effectiveness of retention and re-establishment efforts.

 Carefully plan locations of any permanent OHV and hiking/horse trails through the
reclaimed mine site after mining land use. Locate trails in areas of minimal known
grizzly bear use and minimize line of sight from trails to areas of known or likely grizzly
bear concentrations. Work with OHV and hikers/equestrian users to optimize trail
locations that will minimize conflicts with bears.

 Limit the carrying or discharge of firearms on MSL portions of the mine permit area that
are known or likely grizzly bear seasonal use areas. Work closely with the
hunting/outfitting community to identify and avoid these areas.

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 Exert influence on those adverse human behaviors which might contribute to grizzly bear
mortality. Strategies may include education programs (signage, community messaging),
monitoring of human use and activities and their associations with bears (cameras,
infrared, etc)

 Continue the effective garbage removal and management procedures currently employed
at the Luscar and Cheviot mines.

 Utilize a part-time backcountry guardian to monitor human land use and to act as a
deterrent against illegal hunting/poaching of grizzly bears in the mine permit area and
immediate vicinity.

 Through rollback and reclamation techniques, limit public access to existing exploration
lines identified with the FLUZ within the adjacent permit area (outside the MSL).

 Conduct grizzly bear den searches in areas to be disturbed in winter months, prior to the
land disturbance but after denning. If a den is found, we will determine if it can be
avoided until spring. If it can‟t, we will investigate other options.

2.4 Regional Considerations

Grizzly bears that frequent lands within the Cheviot mine permit area will also spend a
considerable amount of time on adjacent provincial and federal lands. Successful
implementation of the on-site strategies recommended in Section 4.3 will help to limit mortality
of grizzly bears while they occur within the boundaries of the mine permit area. They will also,
in the medium to long-term, provide seasonally important forage in early-seral reclaimed
portions of the mine permit. The purpose of the strategies outlined below is to provide a link
between grizzly bear management at the mine permit level and management at the regional level.
The overall objective is to limit cumulative land use effects on grizzly bears through information
dissemination and active communication with government and non-government stakeholders.
The points outlined below serve to meet Goal #5 of this management plan, reiterated below:

Objective 5 To continue to encourage regional land managers to develop a regional grizzly bear
recovery implementation plan and to implement effective management framework and strategies,
and to be a key partner in this process.

It is important to note that the regional strategies described below are outside of the authority of
CRO and will require government commitment, multi-stakeholder dialogue and adequate
resourcing.

 Encourage ASRD to re-do the 2004 DNA census for BMA 4B in order to more fully
understand current population levels and thresholds for human-caused mortality. Design
DNA census to more fully understand grizzly bear use of various portions of the Mine
permit area and movement of bears from Jasper National Park – design with long-term
monitoring in mind.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 10


 Keep the Regional Grizzly Bear Recovery Implementation Team abreast of all
management, monitoring and research activities through regular updates (annual
summaries) and attendance at meetings.

 Assist the Regional Grizzly Bear Recovery Implementation Team in identifying and
delineating Grizzly Bear Priority Areas and dispersal zones.

 Provide research and monitoring information to the Regional Grizzly Bear Recovery
Implementation Team that would assist in any required conflict prevention/problem
wildlife initiatives and local-focus education programs.

 Promote early thought and implementation of a Cheviot mine LMP similar to that being
conducted for the Luscar and Gregg River mines with the goal of minimizing mortality of
grizzly bears after the mine is decommissioned and lands returned to provincial land
management. Develop an adaptive management process to move learnings from the
Luscar/Gregg process to the Cheviot LMP process.

 Encourage governments to conduct trans-boundary research to more fully understand the


degree, timing and mechanics of the interaction of grizzly bears [and other large
carnivores] that move back and forth between the east front of Jasper National Park and
the Cheviot mine permit region.

 Update the current Phase 6 RSF, mortality risk and habitat states models for grizzly bears
with reclaimed, undisturbed in mine permit and active mining lands added as habitat
types.

 Encourage governments to establish an accurate and up to date baseline of human use


types and levels in BMA 4B as part of the Upper Athabasca Land Use Framework.

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3.0 MEASURES OF SUCCESS AND MONITORING

This section of the management plan summarizes the approaches that will be used to measure the
success of the strategies employed to meet the 4 on-site objectives set out in Section 2.2. Some
of the measures of success are in the form of quantifiable targets while others are of necessity
less quantifiable. Regardless, the main goal is to ascertain whether or not conservation and
reclamation strategies are moving and/or maintaining landscape conditions towards an end point
that results in grizzly bear population occupancy and persistence. Additional details on
monitoring approaches and periodicity are provided in Table 5.1.

3.1 Reclamation Planning for Grizzly Bear Habitat (Objective #3)

In previous applications for pit development, CRO has described many criteria and indicators
that will be used to measure the success of reclamation. These were provided throughout the
applications rather than in one specific list. These criteria and indicators have been combined
and described in Table 3.1. They are not specific to grizzly bears because most of them can be
used to measure more than one value – for example, plant species diversity can be a measure of
wildlife habitat, watershed protection and ecological integrity. Some measures of success in
relation to grizzly bear management are summarized in Section 3.1.1, and monitoring programs
associated with reclamation (and some specific to bear management) are summarized in Section
3.1.2.

Table 3.1 should be viewed as a “draft” summary at this point. We believe that the discussions
recently proposed by AENV (Ryan Puhlmann, pers.comm.) to take place in 2011 between
industrial operators and regulators in regard to reclamation criteria and indicators will result in
refinements to this table that will provide the level of understanding and clarity sought by
regulators while still providing the flexibility needed by industry.

3.1.1 Measures of Success

 Increasing trajectory of the proportion of native plant species and ground cover in the
reclaimed landscape 5 and 10 years after soil placement;

 Increasing trajectory of key grizzly bear forage index at vegetation monitoring sites.

 Effective control of white clover (Trifolium repens) on the haul road ROWs. Based on
biennial post-treatment monitoring at pre-stratified sites.

 Wildlife habitat that has qualities and wildlife densities/capabilities similar to adjacent
undisturbed areas of similar seral stage.

 Grizzly bear use of retention vegetation for movement.

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Table 3.1. Criteria, indicators and targets of reclamation at time of certification
Criteria:
1. Ecosystem diversity - conserve ecosystem diversity at the landscape level by minimizing disturbance to existing communities
and by reclaiming mine disturbances to conditions that support naturally occurring ecological systems and processes.
2. Species diversity - conserve species diversity at the landscape level, ensuring that functional habitats are re-established in the
reclaimed landscapes and that disturbance to existing habitats is minimized.
3. Genetic diversity - conserve genetic diversity within local populations within the range of natural variability.
4. Protected Areas and Species of Significance - Respect adjacent Protected Areas and local Species of Significance in relation
to species movement patterns and home ranges.
5. Ecosystem resilience and productivity - Conserve ecosystem resilience by minimizing disturbance to communities and by
reclaiming communities to equivalent pre-disturbance capability.

Indicator Target
Soils:
Coversoil - chemical parameters - CEC, pH, Sat%, EC; water- Within natural range of variability (as defined by local soil
holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, organic matter content, surveys)
nutrient status, texture, coarse fragment content, compaction,
depth to subsoil
Subsoil - chemical parameters - Sat%, EC; water-holding capacity, Within natural range of variability (as defined by local soil
texture, coarse fragment content, compaction surveys) except pH, which may initially be higher in some
Surface organic layer formation sites
Initiation of surface organic layer
Micro- and meso-site diversity, variability in depth, consistency in Within natural range of variability (as defined by local soil
coverage of subsoil surveys) for the landscape
Soil fauna Within natural range of variability (as defined by local soil
surveys) for total biomass and density.

Vegetation:
Species diversity Increasing trend in locally native species
Vertical structure Increasing trend in all communities except grasslands
Downed woody debris Clumped and scattered distribution
Native species presence and trends All woody species are locally native; herbaceous species are
increasing trend
Woody species density and trend in height growth All woody species are locally native; densities are stable or
increasing and increasing trend in height growth

Ground cover (erosion control) No active erosion; ground cover is stable or increasing
Vegetation community diversity Similar to commitments in approved reclamation plan
Presence of noxious weeds Prohibited noxious weed species are not present except as
originating from immediately adjacent sites
Presence of plant species favored by targeted wildlife species Presence as per commitment in approved plan
Availability of favored plant species in safe habitats Presence as per commitment in approved plan
Habitat availability for targeted species (e.g. grizzly bear, harlequin Presence as per commitment in approved plan
duck, elk)
Connectivity between reclaimed communities and adjacent Vegetation communities established on reclaimed lands
communities provide an increasingly effective connection with adjacent
communities in terms of safe wildlife movement
Presence of undisturbed islands of forest cover within the reclaimed Presence as per commitment in approved plan
footprint

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 13


Table 3.1 (continued)
Indicator Target
Terrain and water courses:
Terrain diversity Within range of natural variability (as defined by local and
regional surveys); presence as per commitment in approved
plan
Stability of terrain and water courses Within range of natural variability (as deined by local and
regional surveys)
Degree of water shedding from reclaimed slopes No ponded water except in water courses, end pit lakes or
designed depressional sites
Surface water quality and hydrologic regime Surface water flow direction and connectivity is re-
established, surface water chemistry has no ecological
limitations that are outside range of natural variability (as
defined by pre-CRO environmental assessments) , and flow
regime meets CRO Minimum Stream Flow Management
Plan.
Groundwater quality and flows Groundwater flow direction and connectivity is re-established
and groundwater chemistry presents no ecological risks that
are outside range of natural variability (as defined by pre-CRO
assessments)
Vegetation communities relevant to the terrain Vegetation communities are consistent with the
characteristics of the terrain
Connectivity between reclaimed terrain and adjacent communities Vegetation communities established on reclaimed lands
provide an increasingly effective connection with adjacent
communities in terms of safe wildlife movement
Maximum slope of reclaimed waste rock dumps <50%
Presence of long lengths of cliff/highwall habitat Cliff/highwall/footwall is present but discontinuous
Degree of standing water in the reclaimed landscape None, except in end pit lakes. End pit lakes as per
commitment in approved plan.

Public access:
Location of access routes in relation to the other end land use The re-introduction of public access corridors occurs as per a
values - wildlife, watershed protection formal local land use/access management plan
Is there a local access management plan in place? There is a local access management plan in place prior to the
re-introduction of new public access
Is there a current regional access management plan in place? There is a current regional access management plan in place
prior to the development and implementation of a local land
use/access management plan
Wildlife:
Presence of effective movement corridors Vegetation communities established on reclaimed lands
provide an increasingly effective connection with adjacent
communities in terms of safe wildlife movement
Appropriate placement of public access and human use nodes There are regional and local access management plans in
place prior to the re-introduction of new public access
Presence of barriers to specific wildlife species (e.g. road, bridge, There are no barriers in place that are more limiting than
cliff) natural variability (as defined by pre-CRO environmental
assessments)

3.1.2 Monitoring

 Conduct annual soils audits conducted on each reclaimed site in year 2 or 3 following soil
placement, similar to Paragon 2011 (refer to 2010 C&R report appendices – Paragon)

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 14


 Systematic plot-based vegetation establishment sampling conducted on each reclaimed
site in year 2 or 3, year 5 or 6, and year 9 or 10. Measurements to include density, ht and
vigor of woody species (modified forest regeneration survey procedure), plant species list
showing % cover of each species, average ht and average total cover. Will also include
downed woody material. A forage quality index can be developed from this information.
Monitoring will include periodic ungulate pellet group sampling. Based on periodic
vegetation surveys at pre-stratified sites

 Long-term permanent vegetation/soils plots (as per Paragon 2010) will identify
changes/trends in soils and vegetation over time (protocol described in Paragon 2010).

 Annually updated mapping of the location of retention tree islands and planted security
cover areas.

 Conduct periodic non-invasive monitoring (remote cameras) to determine bear use of


these areas. Maintain written carnivore observation program and provide support for
partnered research, including consideration of on-site DNA hair snagging sites to
coincide with ASRD‟s regional monitoring program.

 Conduct periodic (every 3 to 5 years) aerial surveys of ungulates in the Cheviot mine
permit. Time studies with government surveys to optimize total coverage on and off
Permit. Continue annual wildlife survey transects.

 Retaining security cover - CRO will track vegetation establishment on reclaimed lands
with periodic forest cover surveys that will measure tree and shrub density and height
growth. Terrain features will be mapped periodically. Wildlife movement patterns will
be determined from annual and periodic ground transect surveys.

3.2 Identify, Minimize and Track Habitat Disturbance (Objective #2)

3.2.1 Measures of Success

 Mining disturbance footprint in key habitats (riparian, movement corridor, multi-aged


spruce-fir) is equal to or less than proposed in the Cheviot EIAs.

 Presence of undisturbed retention islands within or along the perimeter of the footprint
area.

 Within inactive portions of the MSL, human incursions within grizzly bear concentrated
foraging and movement areas of less than or equal to 2 parties per month from May to
November.

3.2.2 Monitoring

 Annual updates completed of development footprint.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 15


 Annual updates of known and suspected grizzly bear concentration areas based on
research and wildlife observation program.

 Maintain a „red-line‟ map of grizzly bear concentration areas within the mine permit
based on research and staff sightings. Update annually and implement mitigation
measures to limit human/bear interactions as required.

 Conduct a baseline land use inventory. Monitor changes in human land use every 3 to 5
years in the Mine permit area using satellite imagery, and infra-red motorized and non-
motorize traffic/trail counters, and remote cameras.

3.3 Improve Knowledge of Grizzly Bear/Mining Interactions (Objective #4)

3.3.1 Measures of Success

 Agreements achieved to continue university-based research focused on key issues


(humans use, limiting mortality). Focus on non-invasive methods such as DNA hair
snagging (as part of ASRD‟s regional program) and remote cameras. Progress reported
annually.

3.3.2 Monitoring

 Annual updates of research.

3.4 Limit Human-caused Mortality (Objective #1)

3.4.1 Measures of Success

 For the mine permit area limit the number of direct mine-caused grizzly bear mortalities
and problem bear removals to zero.

 Nil or incidental use of key post-reclamation „across-mine‟ grizzly bear movement areas
by humans.

 No on-site employee-bear incidents (instances of unintended face-to-face encounters of


less than 100 m).

 No incidents of disturbance of occupied bear dens.

3.4.2 Monitoring

 Maintain CRO‟s on-going wildlife mortality monitoring control and reporting program.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 16


 Maintain a „red-line‟ map of grizzly bear concentration areas within the mine permit
based on research and staff sightings. Update annually and implement mitigation
measures to limit human/bear interactions as required.

 Periodically monitor human land use over time in the Mine permit area using satellite
imagery, and infra-red motorized and non-motorize traffic/trail counters, and remote
cameras.

 Human use inventory using infra-red trail counters and remote cameras. Integrate human
and wildlife use monitoring with adjacent provincial jurisdictions (WWP and SRD public
lands)

 Continue to have a large carnivore specialist assess cumulative mortality risk at each pit
licensing phase.

CRO periodically assesses grizzly bear mortality risk. Models such as Nielsen et al 2006 are
appropriate at a regional scale but fail at a smaller scale and particularly for coal mines because:

(a) They typically assume that reclaimed lands are “barren” and without habitat value.
Stevens et al, 2005, Kansas 2006 and Symbaluk 2008 provide evidence that reclaimed
lands have substantial value as grizzly bear habitat.
(b) They do not recognize the higher degree of safety of bears on mine lands due to the
absence of direct human contact and the absence of humans with guns.
(c) At a local scale, the model cannot accurately assess changes in disturbance or access.

Until such time that a model has been developed or refined to provide a reliable assessment of
mine-specific activities, CRO continues to retain a recognized carnivore expert to review and
provide input on development plans and assess mortality risk on a site-by-site basis, and we
believe this practice adequately addresses the important issue of mortality risk. It is noted that in
40 years of open pit mining at the Luscar and Cheviot sites there has not been a single grizzly
bear mortality directly related to mining.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 17


4.0 ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT
Through the adaptive management process, management intervention becomes a tool to
understand the effects of a given management action on the ecosystem. Interventions and related
management strategies are typically designed to test predictions about the functioning of less
certain aspects of the ecosystem. Adaptive management permits the assessment of ecosystem
response to identify uncertainties; methodologies can then be established to test predictions
concerning those uncertainties. This section of the management plan demonstrates how
principals and approaches to adaptive management have been used in the past and how they will
be applied in this 10-year plan. There are six main steps in the adaptive management process
(Nyberg 1999, Duinker and Trevisan 2003), summarized below.

Step #1: Assess the problem. Synthesize existing knowledge about the system and define the
scope of the management problem. Focus on uncertain aspects of ecosystem response.

Step #2. Design the Plan. Design a management plan and monitoring program that serves to
provide useable feedback to gauge the effectiveness of management actions.

Step #3. Implement the Plan. The plan is put into action and strategies are implemented as
prescribed in the Plan.

Step #4. Monitoring. Measure indicators that assess the effectiveness of the strategies designed
to achieve particular objectives.

Step #5. Evaluation of monitoring outcomes. Actual outcomes from monitoring programs are
compared with predictions and the differences are interpreted.

Step #6. Adjust the Plan. Adjust management objectives, predictions and/or strategies to reflect
new knowledge and understanding gained from monitoring.

This management plan constitutes Steps #1, 2 and 4 in the adaptive management process, and
provides a strategy for implementation, evaluation and plan adjustment. The assessment of
limiting factors and synthesis of knowledge gained in the last decade provided a focus on key
issues and uncertainties. Specific areas of ecosystem response uncertainty are discussed in the
appendix. Details on the plan and its implementation are given in each licensing application; the
application also serves as an opportunity to evaluate monitoring outcomes and adjust the plan as
needed. Table 5.1 outlines adaptive management approaches that will be applied to several areas
of uncertainty associated with predicted outcomes of management strategies.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 18


5.0 REPORTING AND SCHEDULING
CRO will report the status of grizzly bear-related actions and research projects in the annual
conservation & reclamation report. Detailed reports will be prepared and submitted periodically
as specific projects reach completion or at significant phases in the project. Detailed reports and
discussion in relation to on-going or proposed mine development will be provided at each
application phase, as was the case with the recently submitted Harris-McLeod application in
January of this year.

A schedule showing the frequency of specific monitoring and management actions is shown in
Table 5.1. This table can be provided in greater detail once this plan has been discussed with
regulatory agencies and potential funding partners.

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 19


Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 20
Table 5.1. Adaptive management framework and approaches
Prediction Strategies Monitoring Potential Plan Adjustments
Indicator/Measure Method Periodicity
No grizzly bear mortality on permit area Prohibit firearms on MSL # bears reported killed CRO mortality monitoring Annual Assess mortality causes
Identify high-use grizzly bear areas on permit ASRD mortality monitoring Further reduce human/firearm presence
University grizzly bear research Research presence Increase education /enforcement levels
Human use inventory
Annual pre-disturbance denning survey Field survey - winter Annual
Identify grizzly movement routes
Retain security cover (tree/shrub islands)
Mine-site traffic-wildlife control program
CRO employee “bear aware” program
Bear sensitive garbage management
Backcountry guardian

Dominantly native forage for grizzly bears Direct placement of topsoil Grizzly bear forage index Plot-based sampling in various 2 years Modify strategies in treatment areas not exhibiting
will increase steadily in the 10-year treatment types positive trajectory of key bear food response
period following reclamation Woody debris/LFH salvage
Rough-mounded placement
Native seed mixes enhanced with selected key
grizzly bear plant foods

Ungulate occurrence on reclaimed mine Direct placement of topsoil # ungulates in and adjacent Aerial/Ground-based surveys Variable Modify strategies in treatment areas not exhibiting
lands will be similar to that of adjacent reclaimed areas positive trajectory of key bear food response
undisturbed sites at similar seral stages. Woody debris/LFH salvage
Rough-mounded placement
Site-specific native seed mixes pellet groups/ha Pellet group surveys stratified by Annual Modify strategies in treatment areas not exhibiting
treatment type positive trajectory of key bear food response

No or incidental use of MSL/reclaimed Clear education/signage prohibiting use # parties/persons observed on MSL On-site reporting system Annual Determine reason for use of MSL
areas by public Increase access restrictions to/on MSL

Incidental human use of known grizzly Clear education/signage prohibiting use # parties/persons observed on Remote cameras/counters Annual/On- Determine reason for use of MSL
bear concentration areas within MSL and concentration areas of MSL and CRO going
on CRO disturbance within mine permit disturbance within mine permit
Selective access closures/decommissioning Increase access restrictions to/on MSL
Sign-in protocols
Grizzly bear monitoring/research to identify
concentration use areas

Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 21


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Grizzly Bear 10-Year Management Plan April 2011 26


2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -1
APPENDIX A. BACKGROUND, STATUS and LIMITING FACTORS

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 Regulatory Background to Plan (1996 to 2009)
2.0 Grizzly bear and land use status
2.1 Current Grizzly Bear Habitat/Land Use Conditions
2.1.1 Cheviot Mine Permit
2.1.2 Cheviot Region
2.2 Grizzly Bear Occurrence/Population Status
2.2.1 Regional Population Density
2.2.2 Cheviot Mine Permit Grizzly Bear Occurrence
3.0 Limiting Factors
3.1 Habitat Alteration
3.1.1 Past Understanding
3.1.2 Current Understanding
3.1.3 Lessons Learned – Habitat Alteration
3.2 Habitat Avoidance/Alienation
3.2.1 Past Understanding
3.2.2 Current Understanding
3.2.3 Lessons Learned – Habitat Avoidance/Alienation
3.3 Movement Obstruction
3.3.1 Past Understanding
3.3.2 Current Understanding
3.3.3 Lessons Learned – Movement Obstruction
3.4 Human-caused Mortality
3.4.1 Past Understanding
3.4.2 Current Understanding
3.4.3 Lessons Learned – Human-caused Mortality
3.5 Limiting Factors Synthesis
3.5.1 Summary of Findings Since 2000
3.5.2 Areas of Scientific Uncertainty

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1.0 Regulatory Background to Plan (1996 to 2009)

The Cheviot mine submitted mine permit applications in January 1996 and received approvals
from the Joint Federal/Provincial Panel in June 1997 and September 2000. Alberta
Environment‟s EPEA Approval #46972 was issued for the mine in 1998, ERCB Mine Permit
#C2003-4 was issued in 2000 and development of the first pit at Cheviot began in 2004. Five
years of active mining at Cheviot has taken place to date; the footprint is shown in Figure 2.

During the environmental impact assessment and mine permit application process, grizzly bears
were identified as a highly important species due to their large area habitat requirements and
their assumed susceptibility to negative impacts from the mine‟s activities. It was the general
consensus that if sufficient habitat for grizzly bears was maintained, this would serve to protect
many other species with smaller area requirements. The environmental and cumulative effects
assessments conducted for the proposed Cheviot mine (BIOS 1996; Kansas and Collister 1999)
predicted that project implementation would create significant adverse effects to certain sensitive
species of mammalian carnivores, particularly the grizzly bear. It was concluded, based on
scientific information existing at the time, that even without the mine, the cumulative impact of
other industrial and recreational activities in the region would have significant negative impacts
on grizzly bears (BIOS 1996). The Joint Panels concluded based in large part on the EIA work
completed by CRO‟s carnivore consultants, that the Cheviot project would essentially eliminate
(for 100+ years) grizzly bear habitat within the disturbance footprint, prevent bear movement
across the development footprint, and change public access in ways that would result in direct
grizzly bear mortality. The Joint Panels concluded that without mitigation the Cheviot Coal
Project would result in significant adverse effects on grizzly bears and that there would be a
significant risk of regional cumulative effects with or without the Project.

Given the nature, scope and duration of the project the proponent stated that avoidance of bear
habitats would not be feasible and that the most effective method to address predicted impacts to
carnivores would be to establish a carnivore compensation program. The EUB-CEAA Joint
Review Panel agreed with this assessment in their 1997 decision report and required the
company to honor its commitment to act as both a catalyst and a stakeholder in the development
of a carnivore compensation program. In its 2000 decision report, the Joint Review Panel
confirmed its 1997 conclusion that “the potential adverse effects of the Cheviot Coal Project on
the grizzly bear can be effectively and adequately mitigated through regional planning and
implementation of the February 10, 2000, “Grizzly Bear Conservation in the Yellowhead
Ecosystem: A Strategic Framework”.

The mine committed to a number of on-site and off-site (regional) actions some of which were
described in the 1998 and subsequent versions of the Carnivore Compensation Work Plan:

Off-site (regional) initiatives:


The company conducted a Core Security Area Analysis of the 3,000 km2 Cumulative Effects
Management (CEM) study area as a key component of their revised Cumulative Environmental
Assessment (Luscar, 1999). The data for this extensive project was made available to the
Foothills Model Forest (FMF);

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The company was active in developing the February 2000 Strategic Framework for Grizzly Bear
Conservation in the Alberta Yellowhead Ecosystem;
The company maintained a coal industry representative on the Regional Carnivore Management
Group from 1999 to 2006, at which point ASRD disbanded the group;
The company provided substantial funding and assistance to the FMF Grizzly Bear Study from
1999 to 2006 and has since annually funded specific bear research programs through Foothills
Research Institute (FRI) and University of Alberta.
Funding of a comparative assessment (Stevens and Duval 2005) of grizzly bear response to
reclaimed Luscar/Gregg mines and the pre-mining Cheviot mine.
Funding of a study to document and discuss management implications of research findings
concerning the response of grizzly bears to surface coal mining and reclamation and related
cumulative land use effects in the Cheviot region (Kansas 2005).
Funding of a Master‟s thesis program designed to test landscape modeling approaches for
Environmental Impact Assessment of mining land use on grizzly bears (Symbaluk, 2008).
Funding of an on-going University of Alberta PhD dissertation program designed to analyze the
effects of open-pit mining on grizzly bear movement, foraging and habitat selection (Cristescu –
in prep.).

On-site initiatives:
Monitoring population distribution and movement (1999 to current);
Land reclamation design considerations (2004 to current);
Reduction of riparian disturbance and mine footprint from 1996 plan;
Wildlife mortality control and monitoring program (2004 to current);
Company “bear awareness” program (2004 to current).

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2.0 Grizzly Bear and Land Use Status

2.1 Current Grizzly Bear Habitat/Land Use Conditions

This section summarizes the current status of grizzly bear habitat (including human land use) and
occurrence/populations in the Cheviot Permit Area and region. This is not intended to be a
comprehensive regional inventory. The main goal is to document increased knowledge of
grizzly bear use of the Cheviot area as well as changes in the local/regional landscapes that have
occurred in the decade + since the panel decisions of 1997 and 2000.

2.1.1 Cheviot Mine Permit

Several changes occurred from the original assessed Project description since the Joint Review
Panel decisions in 1997 and 2000 - the main ones being:

Approval and construction of a private haul road from the Cheviot mine to the existing Luscar
mine site for coal processing;

Coal haul via low speed haul trucks to and from mine;

No coal processing at the Cheviot mine;

No high-speed road or railway to the Cheviot mine.

Phased (temporal and spatial) development versus original plan/ EA predictions

The boundaries of the original and currently planned Cheviot mine disturbance footprints are
shown in Figure 1.

As of December 2008, a total of 7.2 million clean metric tonnes of metallurgical coal and 70
million banked cubic meters of waste rock have been extracted. Coal has been hauled from the
Cheviot mine to the Luscar mine plant since 2004. The location of mining to date is shown in
Figure 2. The current development footprint occupies 486-ha or 22% of the conceptual, planned
2,234-ha Cheviot Mine disturbance footprint and 6.8% of the Cheviot mine permit area.
Approximately 40 ha of land of a total of 486 ha disturbed, are in very early stages of
reclamation.

No other major extractive land uses other than mining have occurred in the Cheviot mine permit
area since 2000. No timber harvest or oil and gas exploration or development has occurred.
Some changes in recreational land use and human access have occurred, as follows:

Increased OHV and other recreational uses, as predicted in the EIAs.


Recreational activity to and within WWP.

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Roads in the current mining area (mineral surface lease) are closed to public access and the
carrying of loaded firearms is strictly prohibited.

2.1.2 Cheviot Region

The Cheviot mine permit area is situated centrally within former provincial Bear Management
Area (BMA) 4B (AFWD 1990). This BMA is dominated by subalpine and upper boreal
ecological regions, and is very similar to the elevation/climate, topography and vegetation of the
Cheviot mine permit area. Figure 3 shows the approximate location of BMA 4B in relation to
the Cheviot Mine permit area. The red polygon on the Figure also shows adjacent portions of
Jasper National Park utilized by the Foothills Model Forest for trans-boundary grizzly bear
research (Stenhouse and Munro 2000).

Kansas and Collister (1999) reported combined high and low use road densities of 0.19 to 0.39
km/km2 in the two Bear Management Units (2A and 2B) surrounding the Cheviot mine permit
area. Current linear route density in the 7,200 ha Cheviot Permit Area is estimated to be 1.70
km/km2. This includes all linear features outside of the existing MSL. These linear routes have
not yet been delineated to open or closed motorized or non-motorized status.

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2.2 Grizzly Bear Occurrence/Population Status

2.2.1 Regional Population Density

Empirically-derived population estimates of grizzly bears were not available at the time of the
1997 and 2000 EIAs. Both BIOS (1996) and Kansas and Collister (1999) estimated grizzly bear
populations to be in the range of 9.8 to 11.7 bears/1000 km2, based on the findings of past
research in Jasper National Park. Between the time of submission of the 1999 EIA and the 2000
JRP panel hearings, a DNA hair snagging study (Boulanger et al. 2004) calculated a density of
14.9 bears/1000 km2, which AENV regarded as an „average‟ population (EUB/CEAA Joint
Review Panel 2000). This higher density was based on DNA samples obtained in a 5,351 km2
study area that overlapped the northwest corner of BMA 4B (including Cheviot mine permit) and
a portion of the east boundary of Jasper National Park. Another DNA hair snag inventory was
conducted in 2004 (Boulanger et al. 2005) for a larger (8,820 km2) study area in Alberta BMAs
3B and 4B that overlapped all of the provincial portion of the 1999 study area and included a
large area of densely roaded lands to the east in BMA 3B. The 2004 grizzly bear population
density estimate was 4.9 bears/1000 km2. Boulanger et al. (2005) noted that the majority of
bears captured in the 2004 inventory occurred in the area that overlapped the 1999 study area
(including the Cheviot Mine permit area). The most recent estimate of grizzly bear population
density in the Yellowhead region is 4.8 bears/1000 km2 (ASRD and ACA 2010) based on
Boulanger‟s (2004) work.

The Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan scheduled a replicate of the 2004 DNA hair snag
inventory for 2009 (Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Team 2008). It is assumed that, although
this was not achieved in 2009, this inventory will be done in 2010. It is recommended that this
proposed inventory compare and contrast grizzly bear occupancy and population densities
among and between BMAs 4B and 3B and adjacent areas of Jasper National Park.

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2.2.2 Cheviot Mine Permit Grizzly Bear Occurrence

Stevens and Duval (2005) reported that 30 home ranges of 15 different radio-collared grizzly
bears from the Foothills Model Forest research program overlapped the Cheviot Mine permit
area between 1999 and 2004. This number included 4 adult males, 6 adult females, 4 sub-adult
males and 1 sub-adult female. In any given year the home ranges of an average of 5 (1 to 8)
different radio-collared grizzly bears partially overlapped the Cheviot mine permit area.

Recent research by Symbaluk (2008) and Cristescu (in progress) has documented continued use
of the Cheviot Mine permit area during active mining by adult male and female grizzly bears. At
least 2 different male and 1 female bears to date were observed using the Cheviot mine permit by
these researchers.

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3.0 Limiting Factors

This section of the management plan summarizes scientific understanding of the issues and
factors that have potential to undermine the vision of a viable, self sustaining and regionally
connected grizzly bear population in the Cheviot area. Discussion is framed within the context
of four primary population limiting factors used in both the 1996 and 2000 EIAs and Joint
Review Panels. These include habitat alteration, habitat avoidance, movement obstruction and
human-caused mortality.

Considerable region-specific knowledge of grizzly bear response to human development and


activities has been gathered since the last JRP decision, stemming largely from empirical grizzly
bear research. Because of this increased understanding and its influence on past JRP decisions
and on optimum management focus, this section of the Plan compares past (up to 2000) and
current (2009) understanding of each limiting factor. Information from this section of the Plan is
then used to focus and refine management objectives and the mitigation measures designed to
achieve them.

3.1 Habitat Alteration

Habitat alteration is the physical loss or gain of habitats that are potentially useful to a species for
feeding, denning, security cover and reproduction. Alteration can occur from both natural (e.g.
fire, mountain pine beetle, wind throw) and human-induced (e.g. timber harvest, mining, oil and
gas) factors. In the short-term, surface coal mining activities will alter some lands in the Cheviot
Mine permit area from forest-and shrub dominated to herb-dominated vegetation communities.
Reclamation and natural succession will yield a range of vegetation conditions over time on a
given mined site from herbaceous, to low shrub, to tall shrub/juvenile forest, and eventually to
mature forest. Each stage of succession will offer different food and cover values to grizzly
bears and their ungulate prey, depending on ecological site conditions.

3.1.1 Past Understanding

BIOS (1996) reported that inherent habitat quality (pre-mining) in the watersheds comprising the
Cheviot mine permit area was relatively high during the pre-berry season due to high habitat
suitability model input ratings for ungulates and hedysarum roots. They also reported that habitat
quality was moderate for the berry-and-after season because of average berry production. The
authors concluded that significant adverse effects of habitat alteration (loss of food, cover and
habitat diversity) due to the Cheviot mine would occur throughout the life of the mine and as
long as 100 years into the future. They based this on the assumption that reclamation would be
difficult for most carnivore species. They quoted the proponent‟s vegetation ecologist (Strong
1996) who wrote…

”…even with an aggressive and well designed reclamation plan, 60 to 100 years of plant growth
will probably be required to return vegetation to a relatively stable and semi-natural condition”.

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BIOS (1996) further stated that grizzly bear use of reclaimed landscapes would probably be
limited and that sufficient hiding cover would increase habitat security and decrease mortality
risk. They noted that if grizzly bears that ventured onto the reclaimed landscape had a
consistently low chance of dying, they might adapt to use the reclaimed areas.

Kansas and Collister (1999) reported that BMSU 2A, located near the headwaters of Whitehorse
Creek and the Cardinal River (eastern 1/3 of Cheviot Permit area) supported large amounts of
high and very high quality grizzly bear habitat for both pre-berry and berry-and-after seasons.
High suitability habitat was associated mostly with open Engelmann Spruce/Willow-Birch-Hairy
Wild Rye forests in the Subalpine Natural Sub-region. Also rated highly were Dryad-Kobresia
and Hairy Wild Rye-Bearberry grasslands on morainal landforms in the Alpine Natural Sub-
region. Each of these community types supported abundant cover of bear root (Hedysarum spp.)
and grasses, both preferred spring foods for grizzly bears. They were also considered to be
important habitat for elk and bighorn sheep.

Kansas and Collister (1999) projected habitat supply to 2025, which reflected a period of time at
which approximately 60% of the Cheviot mine would be reclaimed. They predicted that the
percentage of combined high and very high suitability pre-berry season grizzly bear habitat
would increase significantly from 1999 to 2025 for the Bear Management Units that included the
Cheviot Mine permit area. Projected increases were associated with predicted increases in
graminoid and herbaceous forage in reclaimed areas and related ungulate biomass increases.
Grizzly bear habitat suitability during the berry-and-after season was predicted to remain
relatively stable between 1999 and 2025.

The local (watersheds encompassing Cheviot Permit area) effects of habitat alteration from the
Cheviot Mine Project were predicted by Kansas and Collister (1999) to be significant for the
following reasons:

The land area affected by mining was large relative to the size of the watershed that the Bear
Management Sub-Unit comprised.

The area affected is high quality spring range primarily because of presence of Hedysarum, a
preferred bear food. It was assumed that it would be difficult to replace this food source through
reclamation.

Poor growing conditions would prolong the time frame required to replace security cover and as
such the herbaceous forage replaced through reclamation would not be optimized fully by wary
bears.

The potential impacts of habitat alteration on grizzly bears from regional (entire 3,040 km2
regional study area) cumulative land uses (including Cheviot mine) were considered by Kansas
and Collister (1999) to be insignificant for the following reasons:

Projections of the supply of high and very high suitability habitat from 1999 to 2025 indicated
only minor changes notwithstanding mining, timber harvest and prescribed fire.

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Grizzly bears prefer early to mid seral vegetation stages and habitat model results showed that
regenerating timber harvest blocks offered high to very high suitability grizzly bear habitat
particularly in the important fall fattening period.

Security cover levels in the lower foothills portion of the Cheviot CEM region were possibly
higher currently due to fire suppression than they have been historically (Andison 1997)

Mitigation measures proposed by the EIA practitioners to minimize the effects of habitat
alteration on grizzly bears included:

Use reclamation plant species known to be important to grizzly bears and to intersperse these
with hiding cover vegetation (BIOS 1996);

Ensure that the reclamation plan optimizes forage production for grizzly bears, including zoning
of areas and sites for seasonal food and cover enhancement (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Retain tree islands for security cover on the mine site as proposed in the Cheviot Mine
Reclamation Plan (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Utilize reclamation methods that enhance tree growth and/or tall shrub growth on reclaimed
mine areas for security cover (BIOS 1996; Kansas and Collister 1999).

Implement reclamation techniques that will promote the development of vegetation communities
that will proceed through early, mid- and later successional phases in a manner similar to
adjacent undisturbed sites. Early seral stages will therefore tend to attract a greater level of
ungulate use of the reclaimed landscape than later seral stages. Since ungulates are a prime food
source for grizzly bears (BIOS 1996; Kansas and Collister 1999), reclaimed sites in early seral
stages will provide more food resources for bears than later stages.

3.1.2 Current Understanding

No region-specific empirical studies of grizzly bear diet, foraging response to early seral habitats
(reclaimed mine lands, clearcuts, reclaimed road rights-of-way) or use of security cover were
available at the time of the 1996 and 1999 impact assessments and associated Joint Review Panel
decisions. As such EIA practitioners relied on studies from other jurisdictions and their expert
opinion to predict the nature and significance of grizzly bear response to habitat alteration effects
of mining/reclamation. This was also the case for predicting the cumulative effects of timber
harvest, oil and gas exploration and development and road building.

The Cheviot mine EIAs and JRP decisions spawned the Foothills Model Forest Grizzly Bear
Research Project. This hi-tech, world-class project was initiated in 1999 and in the intervening
decade led to vast improvements in knowledge regarding grizzly bear ecology and response to
industrial development in Alberta. Because the original project was centered on the Cheviot
Mine permit area and surrounding subalpine, upper and lower foothills and alpine regions, a
great deal of peer reviewed and „gray‟ literature is now available concerning the habitat
alteration effects of mining and reclamation on grizzly bears. Results of these studies paint a

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much different picture of grizzly bear diet and response to post-mining reclamation than was
predicted during the Cheviot EIA and Joint Review Panel process.

Grizzly Bear Diet

Munro et al. 2006 used scat analysis to assess dietary preferences of 18 radio-collared grizzly
bears for a 10,000 km2 study area that included the Cheviot Mine permit area. They reported a
much higher use of ungulates than had been previously observed for other grizzly bear food
habits studies in southern and central Alberta and Yellowstone, Wyoming. Munro et al. (2006)
did not specifically link increased use of ungulates by grizzly bears with increased availability of
ungulates on reclaimed mine areas. In fact the authors noted that mountain grizzlies consumed
significantly less ungulate matter than did foothills bears - which primarily ate moose. They
attributed lesser use of ungulates in the mountains to lesser numbers of ungulates occurring in
mountains than in the foothills. Munro et al. (2006) noted that west-central Alberta grizzly bears
fed routinely on agronomic species such as clover, dandelion, and alfalfa that were associated
with disturbed sites such as clearcuts, roadside verges, oil and gas leases and reclaimed slopes of
open-pit mines.

Stevens and Duval (2005) compared diets of grizzly bears whose home ranges overlapped the
un-mined Cheviot and partially reclaimed Gregg/Luscar permit areas. Results were based on
scat collections from known radio-collared bears between 2001 and 2003 (subset of Munro et
al‟s 2006 data). For the Cheviot area scats of 4 male (115 scats) and 4 female (115 scats) bears
were analyzed. For the Gregg/Luscar area scats of 5 male (113 scats) and 6 female (231 scats)
bears were analyzed. Comparison of scat analysis results between areas showed that female
grizzly bears consumed significantly more (2.5 times) animal protein in the Gregg/Luscar area
than in the Cheviot area. The majority of animal protein ingested by females was in the spring
season. Kansas (2005) assumed that this was related to the abundance of ungulate carrion and
neonates on and near the reclaimed mine areas during this time period. Grass and forb volumes
in grizzly bear diets were 31.8% and 10.0% higher respectively for Gregg/Luscar area than in the
Cheviot area. Kansas (2005) attributed this difference to reclaimed mine vegetation since the
area surrounding the Gregg/Luscar permit areas was dominated by closed coniferous forest.
Stevens and Duval (2005) recorded a much lower proportion of berries in the diet of female
grizzly bears in Gregg/Luscar (14%) than in the Cheviot area (25%). Kansas (2005) attributed
this to the limited availability of berry producing plants in the closed coniferous habitats that
dominate the Gregg/Luscar mine area. He also noted that female grizzly bears may also spend
more time hunting and eating ungulates in the fall than in the Cheviot area (1% animal protein in
Cheviot in fall versus 6% in the Gregg/Luscar block). Kansas (2005) stated that female grizzly
bears likely limit fall movements to berry producing areas in favor of staying near the reclaimed
Gregg/Luscar mine to hunt ungulates in the fall.

Other studies of grizzly bear habitat use and food availability in the Foothills Model Forest area
underscore the importance of open canopy, early seral habitats to grizzly bear as sources of high
energy forage. Resource selection function modeling by Nielsen et al (2004a) and Roever et al.
(2008a) showed that radio-collared grizzly bears generally select clearcut (mainly edges) and
areas adjacent to roads above and beyond their placement on the landscape. It appears that this
selection is highly food-motivated. Nielsen et al. (2004b) assessed the occurrence and fruit

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production of 13 grizzly bear foods to better understand use of clearcuts by grizzly bears. Ants,
horsetail, hedysarum, dandelion, clover and one species of blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides)
had higher frequencies of occurrence in clearcuts than in adjacent upland forest stands. Total
fruit production was slightly higher in forested than nearby clearcut stands. The authors found
that soil scarification of clearcuts reduced frequency of hedysarum, buffaloberry and ants - all
important seasonal grizzly bear foods. Scarification increased occurrence of dandelion and
clover. The authors also noted that terrain variables including elevation, compound topographic
index, and slope aspect index strongly influenced grizzly bear food occurrence. Nielsen et al.
(2004a) cautioned that human access (roads/trails) into and adjacent to food-rich clearcuts could
result in increased grizzly bear mortality.

Roever et al. (2008b) measured the abundance of 16 grizzly bear foods near roads and examined
patterns of road placement to better understand use of roadside habitats by grizzly bears. They
found that roadside habitats supported a higher occurrence of herbaceous early-season bear foods
including ants, horsetail, dandelion, clover, and graminoids. The authors recommended that
roadside clover (Trifolium spp.) was highly attractive to grizzly bears and that planting of this
nutrient rich forage on roadsides should be banned because of potential bear mortality concerns.

Grizzly Bear Nutrition and Body Condition

Body condition index (BCI) of grizzly bears as measured by length to weight ratios provides
insights into food energy ingestion as well as landscape quality/condition (Cattet et al. 2002).
BCI values are calculated as the standard residuals from the regression of total body mass against
body length and its values range between –3.0 and +3.0. Higher BCI values imply that bears are
ingesting and incorporating higher quality food sources into their bodies. Cattet et al. (2005)
compared body condition index values between grizzly bears from the Foothills Model Forest
area surrounding Cheviot and the southern Alberta east slopes area (Eastern Slopes Grizzly Bear
Project). They found that Foothills Model Forest bears were in better body condition than
southern east slopes bears for all age/sex classes and most notably for males and adult bears of
both sexes. Stable isotope analysis of hair indicated that southern east slopes grizzly bears
depend on plant matter for the bulk of their nourishment (Felicetti et al. 2005). This population
is characterized by low body mass and very low reproductive output.

Stevens and Duval (2005) calculated BCI values for grizzly bears using the un-mined Cheviot
and partially reclaimed Gregg/Luscar permit areas. Kansas (2005) used this data to calculate that
the average BCI value for 14 female grizzly bears using the Gregg/Luscar area was +0.401. This
was considerably higher than the average value of –0.181 for 13 female grizzly bear captures in
the un-mined Cheviot area. Average BCI for male bear captures was also markedly higher in the
reclaimed Gregg/Luscar area (average = +1.194; n=14) than in the un-mined Cheviot area
(average = +0.539; n=10). It was also evident that in the Gregg/Luscar area BCI values were
highest for female bears that used the mine permit areas most often (Kansas 2005). The average
BCI for 7 captures of these three bears was +0.697 compared to the average BCI of +0.105 for 7
captures of the 4 female bears that used the Gregg/Luscar permit areas to a much lesser extent.
Kansas (2005) noted that if mining activities in the Gregg/Luscar permit block negatively
affected habitat quality or access to food resources you would expect BCI values to be markedly
lower than for the Cheviot area. This was not the case.

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Cattet et al. (2005) provided BCI values for 37 female and 23 male grizzly bears captured
throughout the entire Foothills Model Forest project study area, thus representing average
regional body condition indices. Average BCI values were -0.13 for females and +1.00 for the
males. It is apparent from these data that female bears using the enhanced forage resources of
the Gregg/Luscar permit areas supported considerably larger body mass than the regional
average. Grizzly bears that receive most of their nourishment from plant matter are smaller and
generally are less productive and occur at lower population densities (Bunnel and Tait 1981;
Stringham 1990; Hilderbrand et al. 1999; Herrero 2005). Robbins et al. (2004) noted that
carnivory at protein-rich hotspots is one of the few foraging strategies that enables bears to grow
large. They further state that „management-created eco-centers‟ may facilitate grizzly bear
population recovery in the short-term by enhancing bear condition and reproduction and
reducing movement and mortality risk associated with food search during food shortages (e.g.
berry crop failure). They caution that such eco-centers require careful management and bear and
human mortality problems could arise with improper removal.

3.1.3 Lessons Learned – Habitat Alteration

The following key lessons have been learned on the subject of habitat alteration effects on
grizzly bears (from mining and other land uses) since Joint Review Panel decisions were made in
1997 and 2000.

Attraction to areas of productive habitat, especially as it relates to the preference for open
habitats (timber clearcuts, mining reclamation etc.), is stronger than EIA researchers might have
expected. Grizzly bears have proven to be much more likely than expected to seek high quality
forage even in the face of higher human land use levels.

The strong attraction of grizzly bears to high-energy food sources (ungulates, clover, legumes)
resulting from reclamation of existing surface coal mines was not fully taken into account as a
potential mitigating factor against Project and regional cumulative impacts.

The relatively rapid foraging response (15 to 20 years) of grizzly bears to vegetation and
ungulates on reclaimed mine lands of the Gregg/Luscar mine block was not factored into EIA
decisions as strongly as it could have been. The notion that habitat alteration would significantly
impact grizzly bear use of reclaimed mines for a 100 year period was overly ecologically
conservative.

The concept that reclaimed mined land food resources might lead to increased reproductive
output was not considered at all in the EIAs.

3.2 Habitat Avoidance/Alienation

Grizzly bears may avoid using habitat that is floristically and structurally intact because of the
presence of human activity and associated sensory disturbance. This is termed habitat avoidance
or alienation and can result in “effective habitat loss” (Weaver et al. 1986, Gibeau et al. 1996).
The duration and magnitude of human use and the behavioral response of the animal in question
determine whether the extent of the habitat loss will be complete, partial, temporary or

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permanent (Bromley 1985, Whittaker and Knight 1998). The duration and extent of habitat
avoidance resulting from sensory disturbance depends on a number of factors including: 1) type
of human use; 2) the duration and intensity of human use; 3) the sensitivity and level of
habituation of the animal in question; and, 4) habitat characteristics (extent of hiding cover).
Potential sources of habitat avoidance resulting from surface coal mining and other industrial
land uses are related to the noise and activities associated with vehicle traffic, blasting, and coal
plant, timber harvest and oil and gas exploration and development operations.

(Kansas and Collister 1999) noted that the implications of effective habitat loss on grizzly bears
would be greatest in the following situations:

In areas of very high habitat quality or in “critical” reproductive habitat;

When the timing of development interrupts breeding or denning;

When the disturbance leads to effective loss of all or a high percentage of a particular high
quality habitat type;

When the [sub]-population is low or decreasing; and,

When effective habitat loss is linear in nature and creates barriers to movement and serves to
fragment or isolate large areas of habitat.

3.2.1 Past Understanding

Effective habitat loss in the Cheviot area was estimated by the proponent‟s EIA practitioners
using methods originally developed as cumulative effects modeling standards by the USDA
Forest Service (1990). Habitat effectiveness assessment estimates the percentage of available
habitat supply after subtracting that portion alienated as a result of human influences (Weaver et
al. 1987, Gibeau 1995). This was achieved by applying zones of influence and associated
disturbance coefficients around various land uses (e.g. roads, trails, seismic lines, gas wells etc.),
and overlaying these zones onto habitat suitability maps.

BIOS (1996) calculated habitat effectiveness (HE) values of from 41% to 50% for Bear
Management Units (BMU) in the eastern foothills portion of the Cheviot region – including the
Bear Management Unit that encompassed the Gregg/Luscar mine permits. At the time of the
assessment it was generally thought that HE values of less than 70% to 80% exceeded thresholds
of acceptable disturbance for grizzly bear. HE values exceeding this range of values were
thought to indicate abandonment of such areas with the exception of occasional foraging (Gibeau
(1995, BIOS 1996). Parks Canada (1997) stated that most BMUs with persistent records of
female grizzlies with cubs over the past 10 to 20 years had habitat effectiveness values of greater
than 70%. The Northern East Slopes Environmental Resource Committee (NESERC 1999)
considered a habitat effectiveness value of 70 to 80% to be an “ideal target” for grizzly bear
habitat conservation purposes. They stated that this range of values would form an initial
hypothesis for the northern east slopes region and would require on-going validation with
regionally appropriate empirical data. Because of the very low habitat effectiveness values in the

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -15
eastern foothills BIOS (1996) predicted that only sporadic use by grizzly bears would occur in
that portion of the Cheviot region.

Kansas and Collister (1999) calculated higher habitat effectiveness values of from 45% to 76%
in the eastern BMUs and cautioned that habitat effectiveness outputs do not always reflect
grizzly bear landscape use. Based on field measurements of human use Kansas and Collister
(1999) changed (from BIOS 1996) human use level classification of widespread seismic and
smaller forestry roads from low to incidental. Linear features classified as low use (3 to 19
parties per month) were assumed to reduce the use of buffered area (400 to 800-m) by grizzly
bears from 12 to 27% depending on motorized versus non-motorized use. Incidental use features
were not buffered by disturbance coefficients - as was the case for the BIOS (1996) assessment.

For the BMUs encompassing the Cheviot mine permit area BIOS (1996) calculated HE values of
from 63% to 71%. Kansas and Collister (1999) reported similar values of 65% to 70%. BIOS
(1996) noted that baseline HE values were at, or slightly below, thresholds assumed to be needed
for regular use by grizzly bears. They noted that with the addition of the Cheviot mine project
HE values would drop to from 46% to 51%, which were well below suspected threshold values.
They concluded that because of this reduction in habitat effectiveness the proposed Cheviot mine
would have “…immediate, significant, adverse effects on the grizzly bears which currently
include this area within their existing home ranges”. They assumed that because of the low
projected HE values that only occasional use of the two watersheds transected by the Cheviot
mine would occur after the mine was finished. BIOS (1996) concluded that cumulative effects
of the mine resulting from habitat alienation would be adverse in both the short and long (100-
years) term.

Kansas and Collister (1999) calculated that habitat effectiveness in the Cheviot mine BMUs
would remain the same or be reduced by 5% in spite of activities in the western one-third of the
Cheviot mine. They assumed that the effects of the mine would in part be offset by improved
habitat quality through reclamation by the year 2025. Nonetheless, Kansas and Collister (1999)
rated project-specific impacts resulting from effective habitat loss to be significant because of the
large size and long duration of the mine in the context of sub-regional watershed habitat supply.
They concluded however that the cumulative effects of the mine regionally were insignificant in
part because mine abandonment and reclamation had potential to result in gains in habitat quality
and effectiveness.

The following mitigation measures to reduce habitat avoidance effects of the Cheviot Mine and
other cumulative land actions were proposed:

Decrease mine access road width, speed or traffic volume, or create periods of no traffic (BIOS
1996).

Identify and protect blocks of high quality, effective habitat, and ensure connection of these areas
with travel corridors useable by carnivores (BIOS 1996).

Implement regional planning in the form of a „carnivore compensation package‟ designed to:

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -16
Scientifically determine population trends and to define strategies for managing mortality within
biologically and socially acceptable limits;

Identify critical habitat and management options for maintaining functional integrity of critical
habitat;

Identify management strategies that would decrease negative influences of human activities and
development on carnivores, including grizzly bear (BIOS 1996).

Limit motorized access on the Cheviot Mine site after reclamation until security cover is greater
than 2m in height and 30% cover (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Manipulate post-mining landscape features (e.g. rock dump design) to provide sound/sight
barriers (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Once areas have been reclaimed and activity is occurring on other portions of the mine, restrict
employees from use of reclaimed areas except for emergency or essential purposes. This is
particularly important in the vicinity of the upper Prospect Creek area where the linkage zone is
narrow (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Improve human use inventory and monitoring through sound monitors and other techniques to
more fully understand human use of the landscape as it relates to grizzly bear CEM models
(Kansas and Collister 1999).

Monitor the effects of human use levels of roads on grizzly bear use of landscape, through the
Foothills Model Forest grizzly bear study (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Consider the use of regional CEM model results from this report (i.e. security areas, road density
mapping) as a preliminary framework for testing grizzly bear landscape use. Also consider
techniques such as Resource Selection Functions (Mace et al. 1999) to develop empirical models
of grizzly bear landscape use and requirements (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Once targets for open road densities, security and habitat effectiveness are determined for the
region, consider an accounting system for industries to meet these requirements through
mitigation techniques such as road closures. Optimum common currencies for implementing
such a system should form the basis for discussion in workshops associated with the Northern
East Slopes Environmental Resource Committee grizzly bear framework (Kansas and Collister
1999).

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -17
Work with ORV user groups to focus ORV use in intensive-use areas that support less high
quality forage or are used less by grizzly bears. Involve ORV groups in science-based access
management that reflects real (versus modeled) response of bears to human use (Kansas and
Collister 1999).

3.2.2 Current Understanding

No region-specific empirical studies of grizzly bear response to sensory disturbance associated


with mining or any other industrial or recreational activity were available at the time of the 1996
and 1999 impact assessments and associated Joint Review Panel decisions. As such EIA
practitioners relied on studies from other jurisdictions and their expert opinion to predict the
nature and significance of project and cumulative habitat avoidance effects on grizzly bears.
This necessitated a heavy reliance on habitat effectiveness modeling standards and approaches
from the United States.

Habitat effectiveness results and conclusions reached because of them have not proven to be
accurate. The Foothills Model Forest grizzly bear project compared grizzly bear landscape use
from the first three years of radio-telemetry locations and DNA inventory to the results of a
habitat effectiveness model completed by Jasper National Park (Stenhouse et al. 2003a).
Methods used for the Park model were very similar to those used by BIOS (1996) and Kansas
and Collister (1999) and in fact used the habitat quality mapping from EIA studies. Correlations
between actual radio-collared grizzly bear distribution and use of Bear Management Units and
HE values were generally poor. Subsequent radio-telemetry studies and assessments have
indicated that grizzly bears do not disproportionately avoid high quality habitats in the vicinity of
human features including roads (Nielson 2004; Roever et al. 2008), timber harvest areas (Nielsen
2004; Nielsen et al. 2004a; Berland et al. 2008), seismic activity (Ritson-Bennet 2003) and
surface coal mines (Stevens and Duval 2005, Kansas 2005, Symbaluk 2008). The occurrence of
a disproportionate number of denning sites in the immediate vicinity of the Gregg/Luscar mining
areas (Stevens and Duval 2005, Kansas 2005) also indicates a greater tolerance of grizzly bears
to human activities than formerly thought.

Symbaluk (2008) specifically tested the assumptions and outputs of habitat effectiveness
modeling as applied by BIOS (1996) with 19,942 point locations from 14 Foothills Model Forest
project grizzly bears radio-collared from 1999 to 2004. The locations used were from bears
whose home ranges overlapped a 1 km buffer around the reclaimed and then actively mined
Gregg/Luscar mine footprint. Symbaluk (2008) noted that Cheviot EIA practitioners assigned a
motorized, polygon, 24 hour activity classification code to all current and planned mining land
uses (Cheviot and Gregg/Luscar mines), based on expert opinion and available knowledge of the
day. This assignment included a 1 km (0.5 mile) zone of influence around their respective
disturbance footprints within which little or no grizzly bear use was expected. This defined a
mask over the entire 20-year planned mine disturbance area plus a 1 km buffer all around this.
Symbaluk (2008) further noted that based on HE modeling it was concluded that impacts to
grizzly bear habitat effectiveness would result in essentially no grizzly bear use of mining areas,
nor within adjacent undisturbed areas within 1 km of the entire proposed mining disturbance
footprint during the entire life cycle of the Cheviot project.

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -18
Symbaluk‟s (2008) study showed a consistent and continued occurrence of grizzly bear use
within the Gregg/Luscar mine disturbance and zone of influence (Figure 4). Of the 19,942 total
point locations, 23.8% occurred within the Luscar and Gregg disturbance zone of influence. The
percentage of individual home range locations within the mining zone of influence ranged from
0.1% to 82.9% (mean 23.2%). Given the prediction of no grizzly bear use of the active mine
footprint and associated 1-km buffer, this analysis clearly showed that the modeling employed
for both the 1996 and 1999 grizzly bear CEA was not predictive of actual grizzly bear use or
movement within current and proposed mining land use areas.

The large number of radio-telemetry locations collected using GPS radio-collars facilitated the
application of Resource Selection Function (RSF) models to predict the probability of grizzly
bear occurrence across large land areas. Land cover and landscape attributes are classified from
GIS and remote sensing sources, then grizzly bear selection for these attributes is modeled to
reflect the probability of use of a resource unit (Nielsen, 2005). Habitat use can be characterized
by RSFs that are proportional to the probability of an area being used by an animal (Boyce &
McDonald, 1999). An RSF model was developed within the Foothills Model Forest region
(including Cheviot) to document population level grizzly bear habitat selection (Nielsen, 2005).
RSF model results generally showed low probability of occurrence of grizzly bears on disturbed
and reclaimed mine lands.

Symbaluk (2008) assessed the ability of Nielsen‟s (2005) RSF model to accurately predict the
probability of grizzly bear occurrence on reclaimed Luscar/Gregg River mines. This was done
by comparing grizzly bear locations on the mined lands with RSF outputs ranging from 0 (no
probability) to 10 (highest probability). He concluded that the RSF model within the boundaries
of the Luscar and Gregg River mineral surface leases was significantly limited in its capacity to
accurately predict probability of bear occurrence within the mining land use features, which
include the undisturbed, disturbed and reclaimed lands. Over 1/3 of all grizzly bear locations
occurred within RSF class 0. This class was rated as the least probable location that a grizzly
bear would use. Symbaluk (2008) attributed poor predictive accuracy of the RSF model to
application of a „mask‟ to „disturbed‟ areas within the mining land use zones which resulted in an
„a priori‟ discounting of the probability of grizzly bear occurrence. Symbaluk (2008) suggested
that mining land use features and particularly reclaimed lands be treated as a distinct and useable
(by grizzly bears) habitat type in the RSF process.

Kansas (2005) interpreted results of a comparison of grizzly bear activity and ecology in mined
(Gregg/Luscar) and un-mined (Cheviot) areas by Stevens and Duval (2005). His conclusions
were similar to those of Symbaluk (2008) and are as follows:

Over a six-year period, grizzly bears occurred at least as frequently within an area of active
mining and reclamation as they did in the un-mined Cheviot area.

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -19
Home range sizes of grizzly bears in the vicinity of the mined areas (Gregg/Luscar) were very
similar to those in the un-mined Cheviot area. Adult female ranges were on average smaller
(235 km2 vs. 297 km2) for the mined areas including females with cubs (113 km2 vs. 123 km2).
These findings imply that habitat resources (forage, cover, security) for the bears monitored in
the areas surrounding the active Gregg/Luscar mine areas are at least as favorable to those for the
bears monitored in the un-mined Cheviot area.

Grizzly bears with home ranges overlapping the existing mining areas returned to
previously used home ranges at least as regularly as bears in the un-mined Cheviot area.
This fidelity to home ranges implies regular as opposed to sporadic use of the mined lands.

Mining activity did not preclude denning opportunities. A concentration of grizzly bear dens
occurred in the area surrounding the actively mined Gregg/Luscar permit areas. 10.9% of grizzly
bear dens (n=46) occurred in the Gregg/Luscar permit area, which occupied only 0.9% of the
total study area.

3.2.3 Lessons Learned – Habitat Avoidance/Alienation

Since Joint Review Panel decisions were made in 1997 and 2000 the following key lessons have
been learned on the subject of the effects of mining and other cumulative land uses on habitat
avoidance/alienation by grizzly bears

Grizzly bear probability of occurrence is not affected significantly by human-caused sensory


disturbance in the Foothills Model Forest and Cheviot areas.

Grizzly bears do not avoid roads, seismic lines, clearcuts, or reclaimed mine areas at the human
use levels currently existing in the Foothills Model Forest region.

Grizzly bears in the Cheviot region continue to forage and den within and in the vicinity of
nutrient rich habitats that overlap with high human use levels and sensory disturbance (i.e.
reclaimed mine areas and roadside habitats).

Habitat effectiveness models used for Environmental Impact Assessments in 1996 and 2000
significantly over-estimated habitat avoidance impacts of the Cheviot mine and other cumulative
land uses on grizzly bears.

EIA modeling assumptions for the Cheviot mine were based on 100% of the proposed
disturbance area being under 100% active mining activity for 20 years, the duration the project
life. This is a major overstatement of phased mining impacts (Symbaluk 2008) and contributed to
the over-estimate of effective habitat loss by EIA practitioners.

The notion that grizzly bears will avoid reclaimed areas with limited tree/shrub hiding cover
because of sensory disturbance from mining operations elsewhere on the Mine Permit was
erroneous.

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -20
The notion that the entire Cheviot Mine are would become lost to grizzly bears by the end of the
mine‟s 20 years of operation because of direct removal of habitat and decreased habitat
effectiveness was erroneous. That assumption was based largely on non-validated and inaccurate
habitat effectiveness output, which strongly influenced Joint Review Panel recommendations.

3.3 Movement Obstruction

Human activities have potential to act as either filters or barriers to wildlife movement (Forman
1991). Grizzly bears move across the landscape to utilize areas of high quality seasonal foods, to
mate, and to establish new home ranges. Certain wary individuals may be reluctant to cross open
areas lacking hiding cover, especially if there is noticeable human presence (McLellan and
Shackleton 1989). Disruption of movement between patches of high quality habitat can lead to
reduced usage of food and reproductive resources (Mattson et al. 1987, Mattson 1998). Surface
coal mining removes a large proportion of vegetation and terrain features within permit areas in
order to access subsurface coal resources. Post-mining landscapes may require extended periods
(decades) before significant amounts of vegetation structure are grown on previously mined
areas. As such local and seasonal movements of grizzly bears have potential to be blocked or
modified. High volume roads, clearcut timber harvest and rural residential development also
have potential to block or filter grizzly bear movement.

3.3.1 Past Understanding

BIOS (1996) considered the interruption/alteration of movement corridors by the mine and
associated linear corridors to be “…one of the most serious consequences of the Cheviot Project”
for carnivores. They stated that…”The linear distance of the mine, approximately 20 km, and its
width, approximately 1.5 km, means that for many carnivore species, the entire area of the mine
would not only be lost or alienated for foraging, but the area would not even be crossed, thus
fragmenting populations and habitat”. They further noted that “…for species such as grizzly
bear…these additional stressors could be serious, with repercussions extending regionally”.
BIOS (1996) rated effects of movement obstruction on grizzly bears as adverse and unmitigable
after 20 (short-term) and 100 (long-term) years. One of the primary reasons for these ratings was
the assumption that bears would require trees and tall shrubs as hiding cover for crossing the
mine and that such cover would probably not occur on the mine site over the short and long-
term.

Kansas and Collister (1999) also rated project-specific (local) impacts of the Cheviot mine on
grizzly bear movement to be significant. Cumulative (regional) effects to the year 2025 were
however rated as insignificant primarily because post-mining reclamation and abandonment was
predicted to result in grizzly bear movement across the mine sites. Kansas and Collister (1999)
used linkage zone models (Servheen and Sandstrom 1993) to predict linkage and fracture zones
immediately and 25 years after mining. They considered the Gregg/Luscar mine permit block to
be one of two fracture zones in the region as of 1999. Modeling to the year 2025 indicated that
abandonment and reclamation activities would ameliorate the fracture zone on the Gregg/Luscar
mine permit block.

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BIOS (1996) suggested several mitigation measures to enhance movement across the Cheviot
mine site. These measures included retaining tree islands, creating post-mining topography and
landforms that would optimize security for bears, and leaving 1 km wide vegetated corridors
through the short 1.5 km axis of the mine. BIOS (1996) also proposed several measures to
enhance carnivore movement across the then proposed high-speed Cheviot Project access road.
These included: restricting night-time traffic to few predictable periods; reducing traffic speeds;
constructing additional, larger underpasses; and fencing portions of the right-of-way.

Kansas and Collister (1999) proposed the following mitigation measures intended to minimize
mine project and cumulative effects of movement obstruction on grizzly bears:

Consider post-mining landscape features (e.g. rock dump design to provide sound/sight barriers)
along the southern edge of the western third of the mine (upper Prospect Creek area) to facilitate
use of this linkage zone by grizzly bears for east-west movement.

Retain tree islands to enhance movement across the mine site, as per the Cheviot Mine
Reclamation Plan.

Design land bridges or topographic modifications to connect known use areas that have been
identified through radio-telemetry data.

Update linkage-zone prediction mapping regularly to ensure that fracture zones are kept to a
minimum and areas of high suitability secure habitat are linked by low human use movement
corridors - particularly along riparian areas.

3.3.2 Current Understanding

No region-specific empirical studies of grizzly bear movement or response to the potential


barrier effect of surface coal mining were available at the time of the 1996 and 1999 impact
assessments and associated Joint Review Panel decisions. EIA practitioners relied on studies
from other jurisdictions and their expert opinion to predict the nature and significance of project
and cumulative movement obstruction effects on grizzly bears.

Analysis of extensive GPS radio-telemetry locations collected by the Foothills Model Forest and
associated studies from1999 to present indicates that grizzly bears generally move freely across
areas of dispersed as well as concentrated human use in the region (Nielsen 2004). For example,
Graham et al. (2005) found no evidence that roads with high volume traffic (>100 vehicle passes
per day) acted as barriers to grizzly bear movements.

Schwab (2003) used graph-theory models to predict and map landscape connectivity and
movement paths for adult female grizzly bears. Movement paths were in large part derived from
actual bear movement. Stevens and Duval (2005) presented Schwab‟s results for the
Gregg/Luscar and Cheviot mine permit areas. This identified that at least 3 high probability
movement paths occurred across the Gregg/Luscar mine permit area. Stevens and Duval (2005)
and Kansas (2005) compared the distribution and length of Schwab‟s (2003) movement corridors
in the un-mined Cheviot Permit area with the mined and partially reclaimed Gregg/Luscar mine
area. If the existing mines were significantly obstructing grizzly bear movement on and near to

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -22
them it was expected that there would be a significantly lower density of movement corridors
mapped in the Gregg/Luscar permit area than in the Cheviot permit area. A total of 61 km of
movement corridors were mapped in the 71.5 km2 Cheviot study area or a density of 0.85
km/km2). In the 85.2-km2 Gregg/Luscar area a total of 58 km of movement corridor were
mapped for a density of 0.68 km/km2). Although the density of movement corridors is less in the
Gregg/Luscar block, the differences are minimal considering the major differences in human
activity between areas. Higher probability movement corridors occur directly across the mine
site in close vicinity to both reclaimed and active mining areas.

Symbaluk (2008) monitored and analyzed fine-scale movement of two radio-collared grizzly
bears within mining land use areas. One was a female grizzly bear whose home range
significantly overlapped the Gregg/Luscar mine block and the other was an adult male that
frequented the Cheviot area. Multiple per day GPS points along with sensor data which records
continuous movement path within and adjacent to active open pit mining was used for this
analysis. Symbaluk‟s study observed no significant barriers to grizzly bear movement as a result
of mining land use. The adult female bear moved through reclaimed, unreclaimed, and
undisturbed areas within mining land use areas. This included occurrence in unreclaimed
disturbed areas with active mine activity including active mine haul roads. The adult male
grizzly bear‟s movement paths prior to and during Cheviot mine disturbance determined that
mining land use does not present significant landscape or regional barriers to grizzly bears.
Symbaluk (2008) concluded that “…although active mining may present inherent temporary
habitat loss and episodic local movement barrier, such as active mining pits, the analysis
conducted suggests that mining land use has not resulted in landscape level movement barriers
for grizzly bears within the current Cheviot or Luscar/Gregg River mine areas”.

The University of Alberta (Cristescu 2008) is currently conducting additional research on grizzly
bear movement and activity budgets pre- and post- mining. This Ph.D. level project work will
shed considerably more light on grizzly bear movement and connectivity in the face of surface
coal mining and associated mine haul roads. Two bears were radio-collared and monitored in
2008 and five in 2009. Plans to capture and monitor additional bears are being implemented in
the fall of 2009.

3.3.3 Lessons Learned – Movement Obstruction

The following key lessons have been learned on the subject of movement obstruction effects on
grizzly bears (mining and other land uses) since Joint Review Panel decisions were made in 1997
and 2000.

Local and seasonal movements of grizzly bears in the Foothills Model Forest region of west-
central Alberta are not significantly obstructed by industrial development and associated
transportation infrastructure.

Grizzly bears forage and travel freely across actively mined and reclaimed landscapes of the
Gregg/Luscar mine permit in spite of the lack of hiding cover in the form of planted or naturally
regenerated trees and shrubs.

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -23
Grizzly bears travel freely across and in the vicinity of roads in the study area at current traffic
levels.

EIA practitioners under-estimated the resilience of grizzly bears in terms of their ability and
willingness to cross open areas of active and reclaimed mining land use. As such they
significantly over-estimated the magnitude and duration of movement obstruction impacts of the
Cheviot Mine project on grizzly bears.

Preliminary data suggest that grizzly bears continue to occur on and in the immediate vicinity of
the currently mined and un-mined areas of the Cheviot Mineral Surface Lease. These bears are
using the intact travel corridor along the west side of the MSL during active mining and are also
using non-MSL portions of the Cheviot Mine permit area while mining is occurring in other
portions of the permit area.

3.4 Human-caused Mortality

Human-caused mortality is the number one concern of wildlife managers responsible for grizzly
bear population persistence (McLellan et al. 1999; Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Team 2008).
All of the cumulative effects measures used in Cheviot EIAs and discussed in the sections above
in one way or another attempt to indirectly predict the implications of varying levels of human
use on grizzly bear mortality. Higher open motorized route densities and lesser security areas
and habitat effectiveness all increase the likelihood for interactions with humans that could lead
to death of grizzly bears (Mattson 1993, Benn 1998, Mace et al. 1996). This depends on the
nature and intensity of land use in the vicinity of mapped human features. Areas with dense
human settlement in close vicinity and hunting have a much higher mortality risk to grizzly bears
than areas remote from dense human settlement or hunting – even with similar road densities.
Similarly, open roads and trails with high levels of human use have a much greater mortality risk
to bears than similar linear feature densities with low human use (e.g. closed areas).

In order for a grizzly bear population to persist, a balance between effective reproduction and
survival must be met. As discussed in Section 3.1.2, areas of heightened food abundance and
digestible energy can stimulate higher levels of grizzly bear reproduction. If however such
productive areas occur in the midst of persistently high mortality risk, gains from enhanced
reproduction can be negated by the deaths of individuals. Population growth of grizzly bears is
much less sensitive to changes in reproduction than to changes in survival. For example
Garshelis et al. (2005) calculated that it would require a 15% improvement in reproductive
output to offset a 1% reduction in survival rate.

Potential sources of grizzly bear mortality arising directly or indirectly from the Cheviot mine
project and other cumulative land uses include: illegal hunting/poaching; self-defense kills;
problem wildlife (including translocations); aboriginal kills; vehicle collisions; and research
accidents. Regulated harvest of grizzly bears in Alberta was suspended in 2006 but was
previously the largest source of known mortality of grizzly bears in the Cheviot region and the
province (Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Team 2008). Over the last 3 years (during the hunting
moratorium), self-defence kills represented the largest proportion (35%) of known mortalities.
Problem bears and illegal killing together represented another 35% (ASRD website 2009).

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -24
3.4.1 Past Understanding

BIOS (1996) assessed the significance of effects of the Cheviot mine project pertaining to four
potential sources of direct mortality on grizzly bears – increased hunting, trapping and poaching;
transportation corridor mortalities (vehicle collisions); control kills (problem bears); and,
poisoning by pollutants. They rated project-specific and cumulative impacts of direct mortality
from increased hunting and poaching as well as control kills (problem wildlife) as adverse and
significant over the short and long-term. BIOS (1996) attributed increased hunting/poaching
impacts mainly to increased recreational use along the then proposed upgraded Graves Flats
access road. This road upgrading was eliminated with the approval of the private haul road
option. They noted that during mine operation, significant portions of the mine permit area
would experience decreased hunting, trapping and poaching because of restricted access. The
authors also noted that ATV use in the area was high and predicted that increases in hunting,
trapping and poaching mortality would occur for various carnivores if this level of use continued.
Control kills caused directly by the Cheviot Mine project were not considered to be likely
because of proposed food and garbage management practices, the absence of livestock and the
fact that the mine would be closed to public access for at least 20 years. Significant adverse
ratings for control kills regionally (i.e. cumulative effects) were attributed to increased
recreational opportunities through improved access. The effects of vehicle collisions and
poisoning by pollutants on grizzly bears were rated as insignificant. They noted that grizzly
bears do not typically have a high rate of loss due to vehicle collisions and low traffic volumes
and low speeds (proposed railway) would mitigate transportation related deaths.

BIOS (1996) considered habitat alteration, decreased habitat effectiveness and movement
obstruction to be impact stressors that could contribute indirectly to grizzly bear mortality.
These stressor factors were all rated as significant and adverse impacts on grizzly bears
incrementally (project) and cumulatively. For example, BIOS (1996) noted that significant
amounts of permanent habitat loss could result in mortality, but that grizzly bears might be able
to assimilate such loss ”if other influences are not negative”. With respect to movement
obstruction BIOS (1996) stated that it would be difficult to identify effects specifically due to
movement corridor constriction or blockage. Nonetheless movement obstruction effects were
rated as adverse and significant sources of indirect mortality.

Kansas and Collister (1999) rated both project-specific and regional, cumulative effects of the
Cheviot mine pertaining to increased mortality as insignificant. The primary reasons for rating
project-specific mortality impacts as insignificant were: 1) the restrictions to hunting on mine
sites; 2) the long-term record of zero mortality of bears on existing mines in the region; and, 3)
an assumption that the high profile of grizzly bears would facilitate closure of reclaimed mine
sites until adequate security cover had re-grown. Primary reasons for rating regional cumulative
effects as insignificant were: 1) the scientifically acceptable levels of mortality occurring since
limited entry hunt restrictions were enacted; 2) Population Viability Assessment (PVA) results;
3) regionally high levels of security; 4) regionally low road densities; 5) low use of backcountry
roads and trails; and 6) ability to enact access restrictions.

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Mitigation measures suggested by EIA practitioners to minimize direct mortality effects of the
Cheviot mine project were as follows:

Continue the practice of posting and enforcing firearm and hunting restrictions on mine property.
It was noted that this had proven successful in the past at restricting grizzly bear mortalities on
other surface coal mines in the region (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Ensure that existing garbage and waste control management practices at the Luscar mine are
maintained at the Cheviot mine (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Document grizzly bear movement across the upgraded Grave Flats road. Post slow down zones
in areas of concentrated movement to reduce the incidence of vehicle collision (BIOS 1996;
Kansas and Collister 1999).

Conduct bear identification, safety and awareness programs for mine staff (Kansas and Collister
1999).

Establish a wildlife reporting system that identifies bear use of areas on and adjacent to the mine
(Kansas and Collister 1999).

Construct larger underpasses on the Grave‟s Flats road and fence portions of the right-of-way
(BIOS 1996).

Regional mitigation measures suggested by EIA practitioners to minimize cumulative human-


caused mortality effects of the mine were as follows:

Firming up regional scale wildlife management objectives related to carnivores (BIOS 1996);

Developing a research and monitoring basis for better understanding of population and habitat
status (BIOS 1996);

Translating knowledge of regional carnivore populations and habitat into management actions
(BIOS 1996);

Establish a Cheviot Mine Compensation Package to fund actions that would be positive for large
carnivores and to administer research, define management strategies, identify critical habitat and
management options (BIOS 1996).

Reduce ATV use in the Cheviot region (BIOS 1996).

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -26
Continue the limited entry draw hunting restrictions for grizzly bears. If on-going monitoring
and population density analysis from the Foothills Model Forest grizzly bear study indicated
population sizes low enough to threaten population viability, then consider further restrictions to
the grizzly bear hunt in the region (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Implement selective road closures in areas of secure, high and very high quality habitat (Kansas
and Collister 1999).

Use the framework of the Northern East Slopes Environmental Resource Committee to promote
inter-industry planning of open road access to reduce or restrict entry into secure, high suitability
grizzly bear habitat. Use GIS technology and existing and evolving habitat and human use
databases to develop access management plans that take into account the habitat and security
needs of grizzly bears (Kansas and Collister 1999).

If defense of life and property kills increase, consider providing ungulate hunting only prior to
noon to encourage same day recovery and removal in certain areas. This would reduce risk of
mortalities at carcasses that have been left overnight and been usurped by bears (Kansas and
Collister 1999).

Consider the creation of roadside no-hunting buffers of approximately 300 m along the Grave
Flats Road in the vicinity of the mine (Kansas and Collister 1999).

Based on mortality trends from 1972 to 1993, BIOS (1996) concluded that the population of
grizzly bears was declining in the Cheviot CEA study area (northern portion of BMA 4B and
south-eastern portion of Jasper National Park). Kansas and Collister (1999) calculated that
grizzly bear mortality between 1972 and 1998 was from 6.1% to 8.4% of the population of BMA
4B. This assumed low and high population estimates of 34 and 47 bears respectively in BMA
4B and 25% unreported mortality. They noted that this long-term average exceeded the 2% to
6% acceptable range. Kansas and Collister (1999) also noted that the Alberta Government
moved from an open season to a limited entry draw system for grizzly bear hunting in 1988 and
that this management action reduced reported human-caused grizzly mortalities considerably
from 1989 to 1999. Mortalities from 1972 to 1987 averaged 2.88/year in BMA 4B compared to
1.46/year from 1988 to 1998. Using mortality data from 1988 to 1998 it was calculated that
human-caused mortality rates ranged from 3.1% to 4.3% - within the range thought to be
acceptable to grizzly bear managers (McLellan et al. 1999; McLoughlin 2003).

3.4.2 Current Understanding

Accurate, empirically derived population density for grizzly bears in BMA 4B were not available
at the time of EIAs in 1996 and 1999. Since the EIAs of 1996 and 1999 the following
information sources exist concerning the possible status and trend of human-caused grizzly bear
mortality in the Cheviot region:

On-going provincial bear mortality record keeping by Bear Management Area (BMA 4B) –
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development;

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -27
Analysis and report on Alberta grizzly bear assessment of allocation by provincial BMA
(Stenhouse et al. 2003b);

A comparison of mortality of radio-collared bears with home ranges overlapping the


Gregg/Luscar Permit Areas and the Cheviot Mine permit area (Stevens and Duval 2005);

Wildlife mortality records from the operators of the Cheviot and Luscar mines (2000 to 2009).

A total of 91 reported human-caused grizzly bear mortalities were recorded for BMA 4B from
1972 to 2008 for an average of 2.46 per year (AFWD 2009). Sources of mortality for this BMA
for the entire 37 years period included: legal hunting (70 or 76.9%); illegal kill (9 or 9.9%);
Treaty Indian (3 or 3.3%); self-defense (3 or 3.3%); vehicle collision (2 or 2.2%); problem
wildlife (1 or 1.1%); and unknown (3 or 3.3%). For the 17-year period from 1972 until the start
of the limited entry grizzly bear hunt (1988) there were 46 reported mortalities (2.71 per year) of
which 41 (89.1%) were legal hunting mortalities. For the 10-year period from 1989 until 1998
(last Cheviot EIA analysis) there were 20 reported mortalities or 2.0 per year of which 14 (70%)
were from legal hunting. From 1999 to 2008 there were 25 reported mortalities (2.5 per year) of
which 15 (60%) were from legal hunting. From 2006 to 2008 there were only 2 reported
mortalities. This reflects in large part the closure of the grizzly bear hunt in 2006. Provincial
mortality records are biased toward reported hunting mortality and without corrections for
unreported mortality cannot be confidently used to assess population trends.

A total of 22 grizzly bears were translocated from BMA 4B from 1981 to the present time. Of
the 11 records with locational information 6 were moved from the Hinton townsite and dump, 4
from the Cadomin area, and one from Robb. Eleven of the 24 grizzly bears were translocated in
2002, with two each from 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006. One bear was moved in
1988. From 1981 to 2008 a total of 34 bears were moved into BMA 4B with 13 of these being
moved from the northern portion of 4B into the southern portion of 4B (Blackstone/Opabin
area). The majority (21 of 34) of bears translocated into the southern portion of BMA 4B were
moved from the early 1980s to the mid 1990s. No bears were translocated from mine sites or the
Cheviot mine permit area.

No grizzly bears were reported killed on any Coal Branch mine permit areas since 1972. Bear
Management Area 4B encompasses the Luscar, Gregg and Cheviot surface coal mining permit
areas. No problem grizzly bear incidences leading to the death or relocation of grizzly bears have
occurred on any of the mine permit areas since 1972.

Stenhouse et al. (2003b) analyzed grizzly bear mortalities by provincial BMA using modified
inputs to the Alberta Fish and Wildlife population model. They reported relatively high levels of
mortality of grizzly bears in BMA 4B and calculated a decline from 34 animals in 1988 to 25.6
in 1993 and further declined to 24.6 animals in 1999. The latter density estimate yielded a
density of 4.0 bears/1000 km2 in BMA 4B. This density is much lower than the empirically
derived (DNA hair snag) estimate of 14.9 bears/1000 km2 observed by Boulanger et al. (2004)
for BMA 4B and adjacent Jasper National Park lands during that same year. This discrepancy
illustrates the difficulties associated with predicting population density and trend for grizzly
bears.
2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -28
Stevens and Duval (2005) reported that seven of 16 radio-collared grizzly bears with home
ranges overlapping the Gregg/Luscar mine permit areas were killed by humans from 1999 to
2004. These included 5 males and 2 females. This contrasts with only one of 15 bears with
home ranges overlapping the Cheviot permit area being killed. For Gregg/Luscar bears, all but
one female mortality comprised adults. Sources of mortality were known illegal kill (2),
suspected illegal kill (2), legal hunting (2) and road kill (1). None of the bears were killed on the
mine permit area and most were killed within 250-m of a road. The single Cheviot bear killed
was an adult male shot legally by a hunter. This adult male bear also used the Gregg/Luscar
permit area. This bear was not killed within the Cheviot mine permit area. Although none of the
deaths of Gregg/Luscar bears occurred on the actual permit areas or as a direct result of mining,
it is likely that the deaths were related to the generally higher levels of human use and public
road access in the area. The majority of open road/trail access surrounding the Gregg/Luscar
mine block is attributable to timber harvest, oil and gas operations, and recreation.

Boulanger (2005) studied the demography of Foothills Model Forest grizzly bears for the period
1999 to 2003. A total of 71 (16 adult females, 22 subadult females, 13 adult males, 22 subadult
males) grizzly bears were equipped with radio collars or ear tags during that period. Of these
23.9% died including 1 adult female, 6 subadult females, 6 adult males, and 4 subadult males.
He concluded that survivorship of adult female grizzly bears was very high at 98% but that all
other age/sex cohorts experienced higher than average mortality. The reported reproductive rate
was calculated at 0.233 female cubs per year per adult female (Boulanger 2005). This is a low
rate compared to other studies, although the author cautioned that this value is not necessarily
accurate given the large variation in annual rates. No estimate of the intrinsic rate of growth of
the Foothills Model Forest grizzly bear population is currently available. Boulanger (2005)
assessed the influence of access density on grizzly bear survival. He concluded that mortality
rates in non-protected roaded areas were higher than protected non-roaded areas.

Experience from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) and elsewhere provides important
context regarding potential future grizzly bear mortality sources in the area surrounding the
Cheviot mine. The highest source of grizzly bear mortality in the GYE were due to interactions
with ungulate hunters (Interagency Conservation Strategy Team 2007). This occurred in spite of
the fact that hunter numbers have not increased in the GYE. Nearly all grizzly kills resulted
from surprise encounters at big game carcasses and at hunter camps. Self-defense kills were the
second greatest source of grizzly bear mortality from 1990 to 2003 in Alberta, with 73% of self-
defense kills occurring during the fall ungulate hunting seasons (Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery
Plan 2008). Gibeau and Stevens (2003) found that all self-defense grizzly mortalities occurring
in the Bow River watershed between 1990 and 2003 were attributed to ungulate hunters.

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -29
3.4.3 Lessons Learned – Human-caused Mortality

In spite of continued provincial government record keeping, intensive capture and telemetry
programs and two DNA-based population inventories, there is still considerable uncertainty
concerning mortality levels, population density and trend in the Cheviot region. The following
points identify some mortality related aspects that have been learned since the 1996 and 1999
EIAs.

Grizzly bear mortality levels in BMA 4B do not appear to have notably decreased since 1999 in
spite of the continued use of the limited entry draw system. This increase in mortalities may
however be related to the active research in the region since 1999 (i.e. deaths of radio-collared
bears are more readily detected).

No empirically-based correction factor for unreported mortality has been developed to date for
the Cheviot region.

Reported population density in the Cheviot region ranges from 4.0 to 14.9 bears /1000 km2
depending on the method used and the exact area surveyed. Uncertainty still exists in terms of
population density in BMA 4B.

Links between likely current mortality levels and population trend have not been established for
the Cheviot region.

Mortality of bears on Mineral Surface Leases of mines continues to be a non-issue and has been
for approximately 40 years. This is a result of banning of firearms on MSLs and an active human
presence that discourages illegal activity.

Mortality in the larger Cheviot region occurs mainly in the lower elevation (upper and lower
foothills) environments where cumulative road densities are highest.

Illegal kills and to a lesser extent vehicle collisions appear to be the most prevalent mortality
sources in the greater Cheviot region now that legal hunting has been stopped.

Self-defense kills from ungulate hunters is a primary potential source of grizzly bear mortality in
the Cheviot mine region.

It is ironic that of the four limiting factors identified in this report, human-caused mortality is the
least understood and yet is [undeniably] the most crucial factor requiring regional management.
A better understanding of baseline populations, and cohort specific vital rates (survival and
fecundity) are required for the Cheviot region. More effort needs to be focused on practical
aspects of this difficult issue and perhaps less on habitat-based modeling and movement studies.
A more clear understanding of levels, patterns and types of human land use vis-à-vis mortality
risk is required.

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -30
3.5 Limiting Factors Synthesis

3.5.1 Summary of Findings Since 2000

A number of novel and useful findings have resulted from the Foothills Model Forest grizzly
bear research that spawned originally from the Cheviot project application. Major advancements
in spatial modeling and GPS technology occurred in the field of wildlife biology in the last
decade. In combination with innovative and energetic researchers, these advancements have
yielded findings that were not in the toolkit of biologists completing the Cheviot EIAs. Findings
that are most relevant to improving upon EIA predictions and designing surface coal mine
mitigation measures were as follows:

Sensory disturbance is not as significant an issue as it was thought to be prior to the Foothills
Model Forest research being conducted. Grizzly bears in this particular region have proven to be
much more tolerant of industrial development and associated road traffic than was expected. In
hindsight, more emphasis was placed on habitat effectiveness modeling [during the EIA process]
as a measure of cumulative impacts than was warranted.

Related to the above point, grizzly bear movement in this particular region proved to be much
less affected by industrial development than was predicted by EIA practitioners. The extent of
grizzly bear travel (and foraging/hunting) through existing reclaimed [and active] mine lands in
the absence of notable shrub or tree re-growth was not expected.

Attraction to areas of productive habitat, especially as it relates to the preference for open
habitats (timber clearcuts, mining reclamation etc.), was stronger than expected. Grizzly bears
are much more likely to seek high quality habitats even in the face of higher human use levels
than was predicted. The potential for these kinds of habitats acting as “attractive [mortality]
sinks” should not be ignored.

The strong attraction of grizzly bears to high-energy food sources (ungulates, clover, legumes)
resulting from reclamation of existing surface coal mines was not fully taken into account as a
potential mitigating factor against regional cumulative impacts. The idea that mined lands might
lead to increased reproductive output and decreased mortality (i.e. attractive source) was not
considered in the EIAs.

It is highly likely based on empirical research findings that grizzly bears will be attracted to and
frequent the reclaimed Cheviot mine areas throughout a significant portion of the life cycle of the
mine. Grizzly bears are early-seral foraging specialists and will be attracted to productive, open
areas of the mine no matter what form of reclamation is taken. The timing and extent of use will
depend on the amount of attractive grizzly bear forage resulting from reclamation and the timing
and extent of ungulate recolonization of the reclaimed lands. Significant mortality will not arise
from sensory disturbance, habitat alteration or movement obstruction. By far the most important
limiting factor to manage is mortality risk resulting from human use of the open landscapes of
the mine permit areas. Carrying of and using firearms will be the proximate factor affecting

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -31
grizzly bear mortality and will most likely arise from self-defense, poaching, malicious kills, and
mistaken identity kills.

Although not well understood nor supported by empirical data, there is the possibility that
grizzly bears may become tolerant of human use while frequenting productive mined lands
(Kansas 2005). This may increase the possibility of a less wary grizzly bear being killed in some
other high human use areas within its home range. It is CRO‟s position however that grizzly
bears using reclaimed mine areas do not encounter humans at rates higher than anywhere else in
the vicinity and periphery of mined lands. Reclaimed mine lands are rarely visited by humans
especially on Mineral Surface Leases. It is CRO‟s contention that mortality occurring around
reclaimed mines (outside of mine permit areas) results from insufficient regional management of
grizzly bear mortality risk (e.g. limited enforcement presence). It is the prevalence of adverse
human behaviors which ultimately contributes to grizzly bear mortality.

Based on our review of limiting factors we conclude that managing mortality risk should be the
primary focus of this plan. This focus is reflected in the goals, objectives, impact mitigation
strategies, and monitoring/adaptive management aspects of subsequent sections of the plan.

3.5.2 Areas of Scientific Uncertainty

In spite of the impressive body of knowledge of grizzly bear limiting factors in the Cheviot
region some outstanding questions still remain. Some of these areas of scientific uncertainty
pertain to regional questions and problems that cannot be answered or managed by CRO alone.

Regional Uncertainty

Is the current regional population stable, declining or increasing?

What is the current grizzly bear population and age/sex structure and based on that what levels of
mortality can the region assimilate and remain viable?

Will levels of government enforcement effort/unit area be sufficient to effectively manage


adverse human behaviors.

On-site Uncertainty

How quickly and to what extent will high quality forage [including ungulates] for grizzly bears
arise from the reclamation proposed?

Does the reclaimed Cheviot mine have potential to act as an “attractive sink” (Nielsen et al.
2006) for grizzly bears?

Does the reclaimed Cheviot mine have potential to act as an “attractive source” (Nielsen et al.
2006) for grizzly bears?

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -32
Is habituation/tolerance associated with mine site attraction an issue that could contribute to
regional grizzly bear mortality?

The above issues are discussed in relevant sections of the management plan, and because of
inherent uncertainties will be a focus of monitoring and adaptive management.

2nd DRAFT Grizzly Bear Management Plan March 29, 2010 A -33
0 750 1,500 3,000 4,500 6,000 Projected N83
Meters Airphoto 2007

³
PROJECT LEGEND PROJ. NO.:
BY YY/MM/DD

Cheviot Mine Permit Mine Permit Area DRAWN SCALE


LP 09/10/27 1:90,000
TITLE
Cheviot 1996 Disturbance - 2,861 ha. CHECKED FIGURE
Figure 1
Comparison of 1996 & 2008 Conceptual Disturbance Footprints
Cheviot 2008 Disturbance - 2,234 ha. DRAWING LOCATION
S:\Tech_Services\Environment\Regulatory\AENV\EPEA\Cheviot EPEA renewal
\SIR 2nd round\grizzly bear plan
Meters
2007 Airphoto
0 250 500 1,000 1,500 2,000

³
PROJECT LEGEND Project No.
YY/MM/DD
BY Cheviot
Cheviot Mine Footprint Mine Permit Areas Teck Coal MSL Boundary DRAWN Scale
LP 09/10/27 1:20,000
TITLE Protected Areas Disturbance Limits CHECKED Figure
Figure 2
To October 1, 2009 Highway 40 Haul Road FILE LOCATION
S:\Tec h_Services\Environment\Regulatory\AENV\EPEA\Cheviot EPEA renewal\
SIR 2nd round\grizzly bear plan\Figure 2 Chev iot Mine Footprint.mxd
Figure 3. Location of Bear Management Area 4B and Cheviot Mine Permit

BMA 4B approx.
Figure 4. Grizzly Bear GPS Points Occupancy Within Luscar and Gregg River Mines Disturbance Footprint

BMU 4B
HARLEQUIN DUCK MANAGEMENT PLAN
FOR THE CHEVIOT MINE PERMIT AREA

Prepared by:

Teck Coal Limited


Cardinal River Operations
Bag Service 2570, Hinton, AB, T7V 1V5

September 8, 2011

Prepared in Response to:

Teck Coal Cardinal River Operations’ (CRO)


Cheviot EPEA Approval #46972-01-00
conditions 2.6.8, 2.6.9, and 2.6.10
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Teck Coal Limited would like to acknowledge the invaluable efforts and expertise of
Beth MacCallum of Bighorn Wildlife Technologies Ltd in her contributions to this
document. Other contributors include Marc Symbaluk and Chris Blurton of Teck Coal
Limited and Curtis Brinker of Silkstone Environmental Ltd.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 1


TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0  INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................... 3 
1.1  Vision Statement............................................................................................................ 3 
1.2  Rationale for Submission ............................................................................................. 3 
1.3  Background and Scope of Plan ................................................................................... 4 
2.0 MANAGEMENT GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS.............................................. 6 
2.1 Management Plan Goals ................................................................................................. 8 
2.2 Management Plan Objectives ........................................................................................ 8 
2.3 On-site Management Actions and Strategies .............................................................. 9 
2.3.1 Objective 1 Identify, Minimize, and Track Habitat Disturbance ......................... 9 
2.3.2 Objective 2 Maintain or Enhance the Effectiveness of Riparian Habitat ........ 10 
2.3.3 Objective 3 Reclamation for Harlequin Duck Habitat ........................................ 11 
2.4 Regional Considerations ............................................................................................... 11 
3.0  MEASURES OF SUCCESS AND MONITORING ..................................................... 13 
3.1 Identify, Track and Minimize Habitat Disturbance (Objective #1) ........................... 13 
3.1.1  Measures of Success .......................................................................................... 13 
3.1.1  Monitoring .............................................................................................................. 13 
3.2  Maintain or Enhance Riparian Habitat Effectiveness (Objective #2) .................. 13 
3.2.1  Measures of Success .......................................................................................... 13 
3.2.2  Monitoring .............................................................................................................. 14 
3.3  Reclamation of Harlequin Duck Habitat (Objective #3) ......................................... 14 
3.3.1  Measures of Success .......................................................................................... 14 
3.3.2  Monitoring .............................................................................................................. 14 
4.0 CHANGES AND ASSESSMENT OF ADULT DENSITIES DECLINES.................... 16 
5.0    ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT ............................................................................................ 18 
6.0    REPORTING ...................................................................................................................... 19 
7.0 REFERENCES .................................................................................................................. 20 
APPENDIX 1. FIGURES ............................................................................................................. 0 
APPENDIX 2. TABLES ............................................................................................................... 5 
APPENDIX 3. DESCRIPTION OF THE AREAL EXTENT OF THE MCLEOD
HARLEQUIN DUCK SUBPOPULATION................................................................................ 11 
APPENDIX 4. CURRENT MONITORING PROGRAM ........................................................ 13 
APPENDIX 5. MINING IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES .................................. 15 
APPENDIX 6. REGIONAL PROGRAMS AND REGIONAL INFORMATION REVIEW .. 16 

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 2


1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Vision Statement

Teck Coal Limited’s Cardinal River Operations (CRO) envisions that a viable, self-
sustaining and regionally connected Harlequin Duck population can exist alongside
future on-site development of the Cheviot mine both during mining and following
reclamation. Teck anticipates that management efforts to conserve harlequin ducks will
also benefit other riparian species and the habitats that sustain them. Teck further
foresees these efforts taking place within a regional planning and regulatory
framework/process that empowers land managers and stakeholders throughout the
region in conserving the subpopulation of harlequin ducks. Teck envisions continuing to
be a key partner in this regional process.

1.2 Rationale for Submission

This Harlequin Duck management program has been prepared in response to Teck
Coal Cardinal River Operations’ (CRO) Cheviot EPEA Approval #46972-01-00,
conditions 2.6.8, 2.6.9, and 2.6.10 which state:

2.6.8 The approval holder shall submit a Harlequin Duck Management Program
Proposal to the Director by June 30, 2011, unless otherwise authorized in writing by the
Director.

2.6.9 The Harlequin Duck Management Program Proposal shall include, at a minimum,
all of the following information:

a) Goals and objectives associated with Harlequin Duck Management and


population sustainability;
b) Identification of avoidance, mitigation, and reclamation methods (i.e. methods
that achieve and support goals and objectives) that support Harlequin Ducks
and habitat effectiveness
c) Identification of the extent (i.e. area) of the local demographic unit of the upper
McLeod Harlequin Duck subpopulation;
d) Quantify any observed adult density declines and relate those declines to
habitat quality, and mitigation effectiveness;
e) Monitoring parameters, methods, reporting and evaluation frequency details;
f) Regional information review and comparison to local area information, and
contribution to regional programs and studies; and
g) Any other info as requested by the Director.

2.6.10 The approval holder shall implement the Harlequin Duck Management Program
as authorized in writing by the Director.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 3


This plan will focus on CRO’s mining operations in the McLeod watershed and will be
revised to incorporate the Mackenzie and subsequent watershed when detailed mine
plans for those areas have been developed.

1.3 Background and Scope of Plan

In 1999, CRO prepared a six-part Harlequin Duck management plan to mitigate the
effect of construction and mining of the Cheviot Mine on the local population and its
habitats. The purpose of the plan was:

"to provide a data base on Harlequin Duck populations and life cycle
requirements in the Cheviot area so that the company can employ all
reasonable methods available to reduce mine development impacts on the
Harlequin Duck. Through monitoring efforts and reduction of disturbance
levels in riparian areas, development effects on the Harlequin Duck can be
understood and minimized towards [the] overall goal [to] maintain a viable
population" (CRC 1998:56).

This plan was preceded by 4 years of detailed study, the results of which were used
with input from a joint mining-regulatory working group to prepare the six-part plan. A
more detailed summary of the plan is found in Appendix 7.

The monitoring program was maintained from 2000 to 2003 and continued in 2004 with
the startup of the Cheviot Mine. Now, after 7 years of mine development, 15 years of
baseline/operational monitoring, and in anticipation of continuing mine development and
reclamation in the McLeod watershed until 2017, it is appropriate to review the program
results and the input from many years of discussion with regulatory agencies and public
stakeholders in-order to develop an on-site management plan that identifies where
monitoring and management actions could be refined to increase their effectiveness.
The final version of this management plan will form the basis of CRO’s activities
regarding harlequin ducks for the next 10-year EPEA approval. A chronology of current
and planned mine disturbance and reclamation is found in Table 1(see Appendix 2)

This plan addresses the management of the next decade of CRO’s on-site mining
infrastructure and activities to minimize adverse impacts on harlequin ducks. It is
assumed that effective management of the ecological and landscape conditions in the
Cheviot mine permit area to sustain harlequin ducks will also benefit other riparian
species. Given the large migratory range of harlequin ducks, complex trans-boundary
management regime, and the uncertainties associated with the impacts of the mine and
other land uses on harlequin ducks, it is essential that this plan is science-based and
incorporates the principles of adaptive management. An adaptive approach
underpinned by focused inventory and monitoring will provide greater assurance that
harlequin duck management goals will be achieved.

It is expected that mitigation, reclamation and monitoring activities will be revised


periodically as our understanding of harlequin ducks evolves, as local and regional

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 4


human use patterns change, and as the results of our research and adaptive monitoring
programs dictate. Findings from any regional planning initiatives may also result in
modifications to this plan. We anticipate that the plan will need to be revised in an
adaptive approach as our understanding of other ecological parameters, species and
reclamation objectives evolves.

As other land uses occur in the area, CRO recognizes that there is potential for these
other land use activities to impact harlequin ducks both incrementally and cumulatively.
As such one of the objectives of the plan is to promote regional planning activities that
are consistent with this Plan’s vision statement. Section 2.4 of the Plan identifies
strategies that CRO believes are consistent with initiating discussion regarding regional
goals and planning to conserve harlequin duck populations. While CRO cannot be
responsible for implementing these regionally-based strategies, the strategies identified
will be encouraged throughout the life of the Plan by CRO.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 5


2.0 MANAGEMENT GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS
The following management goals and objectives are intended to set protective,
achievable, measurable targets for CRO to reduce its impacts on the Harlequin Duck
population and conserve habitats in the upper McLeod. CRO’s mine development
activities have been planned and implemented to reduce impacts but it is acknowledged
that there will be direct impacts on Harlequin Duck habitat. This was recognized by the
Joint Federal-Provincial Panel in 1996 and 1999 as summarized in a statement in page
75 of their September 2000 decision report:

“Impacts of mine development at that time <1996> were identified to be the direct
loss of two probable breeding streams (Thornton and Cheviot Creeks) through rock
dumping and the modification of a third probable breeding stream (Harris Creek).
The McLeod River would also be disrupted during the construction phase of
development. Other potential negative impacts were identified regarding duck
passage through culverts, particularly at Prospect Creek. A possible long-term
reduction in the number of breeding females in the McLeod watershed was a
residual impact of the project”.

The Panel subsequently determined that mitigative actions on the part of the Mine
(through reducing impacts to riparian habitat) and SRD (through public access
management) could effectively reduce negative impacts. CRO’s baseline monitoring
subsequently clarified that Cheviot Creek was not a breeding stream.

This plan’s goals and objectives recognize the following elements:

• The disturbance of riparian habitat and the importance of avoidance and


mitigation in minimizing these impacts. Habitat is an important metric and in
most cases is clearly measurable.
• The presence of ducks using habitats in the McLeod watershed is indicative of
effective habitat management and is also readily measurable
• The choice of a habitat by waterfowl appears to be an optimization of costs and
benefits among different components including food availability, predator
avoidance and habitat suitability therefore the reproductive success of the
Harlequin Duck is a critical factor and needs to be captured in the metrics.
• The Joint Panel and CRO noted the negative impact that public use (camping,
angling, ATV, etc) can have on the effectiveness of riparian habitat for Harlequin
Ducks. Random camping along sections of the upper McLeod was intensive
prior to construction of CRO’s haul road and is now almost non-existent. Public
access assessment and management during and after CRO’s operations is
therefore an important factor;
• As mine plans and mitigative actions change, there may be a need to revise
these goals and objectives.

The habitat and population goals described below are based on habitat selection by
Harlequin Ducks during 3 life stages in the breeding season (pre-incubation, nesting,

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 6


brood-rearing). Harlequins meet these requirements by choosing spatially discrete but
overlapping habitats in the McLeod watershed. Spatial separation of nesting and brood-
rearing habitat has been documented elsewhere for Harlequin Ducks (Hunt and
Ydenberg 2000), for Northern Pintails (Grand et al. 1997) and Greater Canada Geese
(Mainguy et al. 2006). Habitat types and their uses for Harlequin Ducks in the McLeod
watershed are summarized below:

• Spring Pre-incubation (see Figure 1) – typically on the main stem of the McLeod
below Whitehorse Creek. The stream is wide, deep, channels are rarely
confined and braided, and exposed gravel bars are common. Riparian
vegetation ranges from willow to tree cover. This habitat is used for foraging,
loafing and mating;

• Nesting (Figure 2) – nests are typically placed in the smaller headwater streams,
such as Harris Creek, Thornton Creek, Mile One Creek (referred to as Unnamed
“J” Creek in previous Cheviot Mine documentation), and on the McLeod above
Powerhouse Creek. The stream is narrow and the riparian vegetation is thick
willow and/or dwarf birch. Nesting is the sole function of this habitat. Once the
ducklings hatch, they are immediately taken downstream into wider waters.
Feeding and loafing are not common uses in this habitat;

• Brood-rearing (Figure 3) – this is the most restricted habitat during the breeding
season. It occurs typically on streams of moderate width and flow where
foraging and loafing can be done effectively and safely. The hens’ choice of
brood-rearing habitat is influenced by elevation; % of vegetation overhanging the
channel; % of shrub cover in the 1st m adjacent bankfull edge; and the
interaction between elevation and the % of vegetation overhanging the channel
(MacCallum et al. in prep). Pairs will use these stretches in pre-incubation if ice
conditions allow; nesting can also occurs in these reaches.

The spatial distributions of these habitats (and the density of harlequin duck usage) in
the McLeod watershed are shown in Figures 1 to 3 (in Appendix 1) and Table 2
(Appendix 2). Figure 4 (in Appendix 1) shows the extent of the harlequin duck element
occurrence as identified by Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. The areal extent of
the harlequin duck subpopulation is described in further detail in Appendix 3

CRO recognizes that management of harlequin ducks must be implemented at various


scales and that for the on-site management goals and objectives for the Cheviot mine to
be most successful, they must be supportive of and consistent with a regional
framework to achieve effective conservation of harlequin ducks. To CRO’s knowledge, a
regional harlequin duck management plan has not yet been developed within the
province of Alberta although ASRD currently has a regional plan for its lands. Section
2.4 of the report highlights strategies that can be taken to promote a regional
collaboration for the development of goals and strategies required for harlequin duck
population sustainability and persistence. Appendix 6 of the report outlines and
discusses the current state of population surveys in Alberta and B.C. CRO provides this

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 7


discussion on regional considerations to contribute to the development of an effective
regional framework and plan.

2.1 Management Plan Goals 

1. To ensure that the Cheviot mine and its activities do not adversely impact the
long-term viability of a self-sustaining and regionally connected harlequin duck
population in the McLeod watershed during planning, operation (by limiting
habitat disturbance) , and through reclamation and following reclamation (by
restoring and/or enhancing habitat conditions).

2. To continue to encourage regional land managers to coordinate and develop an


effective regional Harlequin Duck management framework and strategies, and to
be a key partner in this process. A successful regional plan would promote
communication and harmonize monitoring, research, and management
objectives.

Goal #1 is the focus of on-site management objectives and strategies discussed in


this section (2.2). Objectives and strategies related to Goal #2 are regional in nature
and are discussed in Section 2.4

2.2 Management Plan Objectives

Listed below are those specific management objectives that are consistent with CRO’s
vision and goals for harlequin ducks in the Cheviot mine permit area. Limiting human-
caused disturbance to harlequin duck habitat and reclamation of disturbed lands to
enhance their ecosystem function (for harlequin ducks) as riparian habitat are
considered to be the primary objectives of this management plan. It is CRO’s intent that
these objectives will guide planning, operation, and reclamation activities in an effort to
minimize the mine’s impact, and ensure that the Harlequin Duck population will continue
to reproduce successfully and continue to use the habitats in the McLeod watershed
during and following the completion of mine operations, notwithstanding influences from
external factors unrelated to mining land use.

Objective 1 Planning - Indentify, track, and minimize mine-related disturbance of


harlequin duck habitat in CRO’s area of influence in the McLeod
watershed.

Objective 2 Operations - Where possible, maintain or enhance the effectiveness of the


riparian habitat1 in CRO’s area of influence in the McLeod watershed to

1
“Effective habitat” is defined in this plan as habitat that does not restrict use by Harlequin Ducks due to public or
CRO activities. For example, it is believed that such activities as frequent random camping, prolonged water turbidity

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 8


ensure that the Harlequin Duck population will persist throughout the
period of active mining operations 2 .

Objective 3 Reclamation - Reclaim disturbed lands after mining operations2 to restore


the effective function of as much riparian habitat as possible for Harlequin
Ducks.

Objective 4 Encourage and support harlequin duck management initiatives that will
have positive influence within the Cheviot permit area and the greater
regional population.

Objectives 1, 2, and 3 are on-site objectives that pertain primarily to management at the
mine permit scale. On-site objectives are within the direct influence and control of CRO.
Objective 4 involves actively supporting regional, cooperative initiatives that will rely on
coordination with other land users (and regulators) at the regional/provincial level.
Regional objectives are the ultimate responsibility of the Alberta government. CRO will
continue to promote regional strategies associated with Objective 4 but cannot be
expected to meet targets associated with these objectives as numerous land users and
government regulators are involved. A brief discussion of regional programs and
information is provided in Appendix 6

2.3 On-site Management Actions and Strategies

Described below are on-site management actions and strategies that will be
implemented to meet each of the three on-site objectives outlined in Section 2.2 (i.e.
Objectives 1, 2, and 3).

2.3.1 Objective 1 Identify, Minimize, and Track Habitat Disturbance

The management strategies outlined below are intended to objectively identify and
document landscape change in the Cheviot mine permit area as a basis for
understanding, monitoring and managing harlequin duck and human response to mining
land use. The information collected as part of these management strategies will be
used to identify potential conflict areas and minimize habitat disturbance.

• Maintain an accurate and up to date baseline of mining disturbance in the


Cheviot mine permit area. This would include status of mining and reclamation
as well as linear features.

due to mine activities, or restricted access to Harlequin Ducks due to inadequate placement of a culvert/bridge
crossing, can reduce the use of adjacent riparian habitats by harlequins, even though the habitat itself has not been
directly disturbed.
2
“Mine operations” include planning, pit and dump development, haul-road and crossing use/maintenance, settling
pond operation and reclamation activities. It may also include other infrastructure such as powerline or clean water
diversions, depending on the degree of maintenance activity involved.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 9


• Monitor the levels of alteration of mapped habitat types in the mine permit area
and MSLs including changes in areas and status of reclamation.

• Periodically monitor changes in human land use over time in the mine permit
area using satellite imagery and site observations.

• Compare planned mine development with harlequin duck habitat use and identify
zones/areas in the mine permit area of highest potential loss of effective
(harlequin duck) riparian habitat.

• Minimize impact to the effectiveness of the (identified) habitat through avoidance


planning, disturbance mitigation, engineered structures (clear-span arches, etc),
reduction of public access into riparian zone, signage, and public education.

• Conduct harlequin duck surveys in areas to be disturbed in the months the ducks
are historically present (spring, summer, fall) prior to the land disturbance. If it is
deemed that sufficient numbers of harlequin ducks are present in the area to be
disturbed and that the planned activities hold the potential to detrimentally impact
the overall survivability of the population, we will determine if it can be avoided. If
not, we will investigate other options in consultation and dialogue with ASRD.

• Mining plans will consider the effect of CRO’s activities on recreational / public
use patterns in an effort to reduce the potential for increased recreational
development in riparian habitat. Should any (temporary) OHV and hiking/horse
trails be required, their locations will be carefully planned to minimize disturbance
to effective harlequin duck habitat.

2.3.2 Objective 2 Maintain or Enhance the Effectiveness of Riparian Habitat

The strategies outlined below are intended to guide mining activities such that resulting
habitat can be effectively used by harlequin ducks naturally, promptly and with minimal
loss of function.

• Minimize disturbance from mine activities along riparian zones.

• Maintain relevant water quality standards (turbidity, sedimentation, selenium, flow


regime, benthic communities) within the natural historic range where possible
and within acceptable regulatory parameters.

• Consideration and balance of public and recreational access / use in riparian


habitats so that such activities are not increased during mining due to CRO
activities while under MSL permit. In those cases where public use has been
reduced due to CRO activities, subsequent actions by CRO will not purposely
result in an increased use.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 10


• Development within riparian zones (e.g. crossings, fish enhancement habitat,
etc) will be constructed to reduce the adverse effect on the effectiveness of key
harlequin duck habitats.

• Consistent with demonstrated management to-date, CRO will consider


constructing crossings such that harlequin movement through the crossing is not
impeded and bed and banks of the stream are not disturbed.

2.3.3 Objective 3 Reclamation for Harlequin Duck Habitat

The management strategies outlined below are intended to guide reclamation activities
such that disturbances are restored to effective habitat that can be used by harlequin
ducks naturally, promptly and with minimal loss of function.

• Reclaim mined areas promptly in a phased manner.

• Where possible, reclaim disturbed areas to riparian habitat that will achieve an
appropriate effective function (e.g. spring pre-incubation, nesting, and/or brood-
rearing) for harlequin duck habitat.

• Support ASRD led land use planning.

• Locations of any permanent OHV and hiking/horse trails through reclaimed


riparian habitat after mining land use will be balanced with harlequin duck habitat
considerations. Locate trails in areas where they will have minimal impact to the
effectiveness of harlequin duck habitat. Work with OHV and hikers/equestrian
users to optimize trail locations that will minimize conflicts with harlequin ducks.

• Crossings that have been determined by the land manager to be no longer in the
public interest will be removed in a timely manner and will be reclaimed to restore
water flow and vegetation function of the riparian habitat. Vegetation function
would reflect Harlequin use prior to crossing installation.

• Habitat enhancements, such as old historic mine disturbances along the McLeod
River, maybe considered to enhance the water flow and vegetation function of
riparian habitat.

2.4 Regional Considerations

Harlequin ducks that utilize lands within the Cheviot mine permit area are a migratory
species that travel to and reside on the coast of B.C. during the wintering months.
Successful implementation of the on-site strategies recommended in Section 2.3 will
reduce impacts to the harlequin duck population while they dwell within the boundaries

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 11


of the mine permit area. They will also, in the medium to long-term, help to mitigate
overall disturbance to riparian habitats which are sensitive to alterations and important
for numerous aquatic species. The purpose of the strategies outlined below is to provide
a link between harlequin duck management at the mine permit level and management
at the regional level. The overall objective is to limit cumulative land use effects on
harlequin ducks through information dissemination and active communication with
government and non-government stakeholders. The points outlined below serve to
meet Objective #5 of this management plan, reiterated below:

Objective 5 Encourage and support harlequin duck management initiatives that will
have positive influence within the Cheviot permit area and the greater regional
population.

It is important to note that the regional strategies described below are outside of the
jurisdiction of CRO and will require government commitment, multi-stakeholder dialogue
and adequate resourcing. Information on the status of regional programs and results
are included in Appendix 6.

• Regional review of trends, identify common and specific research priorities


among agencies, and develop recommendations to proceed with regional
studies.

• Collaboration to conduct trans-boundary research to more fully understand the


cumulative impacts on harlequin ducks that move back and forth between the
coast of British Columbia and the Foothills region of Alberta.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 12


3.0 MEASURES OF SUCCESS AND MONITORING

This section of the management plan summarizes the approaches that will be used to
measure the success of the strategies employed to meet the 3 on-site objectives set out
in Section 2.2. Some of the measures of success are in the form of quantifiable targets
while others are of necessity less quantifiable. The main goal is to ascertain whether or
not conservation and reclamation strategies are moving and/or maintaining habitat
conditions towards an end point that results in harlequin duck population occupancy and
persistence. Additional details on monitoring approaches and periodicity are provided in
Appendix 4.

3.1 Identify, Track and Minimize Habitat Disturbance (Objective #1)

3.1.1 Measures of Success

• Mining disturbance footprint in key habitats (riparian, spring pre-incubation,


nesting, brood-rearing) is equal to or less than proposed in the Cheviot EIA’s.

• Minimize physical disturbance from pit/dump development to certain key habitats


(spring pre-incubation, brood-rearing).

• No increase in unplanned recreational / public use patterns within riparian habitat


as a result of CRO activities.

3.1.1 Monitoring

• Annual updates completed of development footprint.

• Annual updates of harlequin ducks and habitat surveys based on research and
monitoring.

• Conduct a baseline land use inventory and monitor changes in human land use
every 3 to 5 years in the Mine permit area using satellite imagery and site
observations.

3.2 Maintain or Enhance Riparian Habitat Effectiveness (Objective #2)

3.2.1 Measures of Success

• At least 58% of existing “nesting” habitat in the McLeod watershed (excluding


nesting habitat associated with Whitehorse Creek) remains physically and
functionally intact, as based on currently planning (see Table 5 in Appendix 2).

• Stewardship to water quality standards within accepted regulatory parameters.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 13


• Harlequin duck continue to utilize available riparian habitat.

• No new public / recreation access created without consultation with ASRD and
adequate consideration of the impact to harlequin ducks.

• No development within riparian zones without consulting a biologist and


adequate planning to consider the impact on harlequin ducks and related habitat.

3.2.2 Monitoring

• Annual updates completed of development footprint showing portion of


disturbed/undisturbed riparian zones and infrastructure constructed within 30m of
stream edge.

• Monitoring of significant environmental aspects (sedimentation, water quality) will


be consistent with the procedures and parameters detailed in CRO’s
Environmental Management System (EMS) and QA/QC Program.

• CRO will continue with the current monitoring program for 2012 (see Appendix 4)
to measure harlequin duck demographics (number of adults, adult survival,
population trend, etc). The effectiveness and frequency of this monitoring will be
evaluated and any proposed changes to the monitoring program will be provided
in annual reporting and in consultation with ASRD.

3.3 Reclamation of Harlequin Duck Habitat (Objective #3)

3.3.1 Measures of Success

• Increased trajectory of the proportion of native riparian plant species re-


establishment and ground cover in the reclaimed landscape 5 to 10 years after
soil placement.

• Increased trajectory of effective harlequin duck use within the reclaimed habitat.

• Riparian habitat that has qualities and wildlife densities/capabilities similar to


adjacent or pre-existing undisturbed areas of similar function.

• Increasing ratio of reclaimed to disturbed riparian habitat.

3.3.2 Monitoring

• Conduct periodic monitoring of harlequin duck demographics to determine duck


use of these areas and provide support for partnered research that coincides with
a regional monitoring program.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 14


• Annual update of the amount of reclamation done each year to areas previously
disturbed by mining, as per CRO’s Environmental Management System (EMS).

• Conduct periodic and systematic surveys of vegetation to track establishment on


each reclaimed site.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 15


4.0 CHANGES AND ASSESSMENT OF ADULT DENSITIES DECLINES

Declines in population along with recommendations for further investigation, were


documented in the annual Cheviot Harlequin Duck monitoring reports: 2006, 2007,
2008, 2009, and 2010 (see Table 6 in Appendix 2). A summary and recommendations
were made to a government workplan meeting in Edson, June 2009. This was followed
by a cursory review of Harlequin Duck survival data by B MacCallum, W. Challenger
and Dr. C. Schwarz, Simon Fraser University. This review showed a general decline in
female survival in the McLeod population, but with potentially differential survival for
hens nesting in the McLeod and Whitehorse reaches of the watershed.

To better understand declining female survival in the McLeod population of Harlequin


Ducks, CRO commissioned a multi-year analysis of female Harlequin duck survivability
using a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design. This analysis is being carried out by
Beth MacCallum, MEDes and Wendell Challenger, PhD. The basic design and a list of
covariates to be investigated were circulated to various government agencies in the
spring of 2011 for review prior to initiating this analysis.

Telemetry methods that were deployed for four years (1997, 1998, 1999, and 2004) on
female harlequins in the McLeod indicated that once a female chooses a nest location,
she tends to return to the same stream and, if successful, even the same nest bowl.
This information provided researchers with an opportunity to compare changes in
survival between different locations with contrasting management interventions (i.e.,
mining in the McLeod above the confluence vs conservation/recreation in Whitehorse
Creek).

We are investigating factors affecting female survival from 1996 to 2011 in Whitehorse
Creek and McLeod River using both a standard Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) mark-
recapture model and the zero-inflated Poisson-log normal mixed effects model
(ZPNE). Both approaches allow survival to be modeled over multiple years, but use
different types of information. CJS type models are well proven, but only use physical
capture data. It will provide a frame of reference to compare the results from the ZPNE
model, which is a more recent development model which allows for the inclusion of
capture and re-sighting data over multiple years. Both these approaches differ from
previous Harlequin analyses, which used a Lincoln-Petersen type estimator. The
Lincoln-Petersen estimator makes use of both capture and re-sighting data, but only
provide estimates of abundance within a given year, without giving any consideration to
any mechanisms that may affect survival between years. In contrast, our proposed
analyses is investigating the impact a variety of factors may have on survival between
years by tracking the survival of individuals Harlequin ducks over the duration of the
experiment (15 years in total).

We have developed a number of computer algorithms that automate the process of


separating physical capture data from band re-sighting data, a process that was
originally performed by hand each year. These algorithms not only ensure data integrity
and consistency across years, but also make the inclusion of additional years relatively

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 16


routine, making future analyses less time-consuming. Finally, in addition to building the
individual capture and re-sighting histories we have also begun finalizing the covariate
data, which represents the possible factors impacting survival such as location
(Whitehorse and McLeod) and various physical characteristics observed at the different
locations each year. Covariates include physical characteristics (i.e., water flow) as well
as time sensitive activities such as the beginning of mining in 2004. Once completed,
the main analysis can be expected to move forward quickly as we look for the impact
various factors may have had on observed survival. Completion will be in the 1st quarter
of 2012. At that time this plan will be modified to incorporate findings if appropriate.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 17


5.0 ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT

Through the adaptive management process, management intervention becomes a tool


to understand the effects of a given management action on the ecosystem.
Interventions and related management strategies are typically designed to test
predictions about the functioning of less certain aspects of the ecosystem. Adaptive
management permits the assessment of ecosystem response to identify uncertainties;
methodologies can then be established to test predictions concerning those
uncertainties. This section of the management plan demonstrates how principals and
approaches to adaptive management have been used in the past and how they will be
applied in this 10-year plan. There are six main steps in the adaptive management
process (Nyberg 1999, Duinker and Trevisan 2003), summarized below.

Step #1: Assess the problem. Synthesize existing knowledge about the system and
define the scope of the management problem. Focus on uncertain aspects of
ecosystem response.

Step #2. Design the Plan. Design a management plan and monitoring program that
serves to provide useable feedback to gauge the effectiveness of management actions.

Step #3. Implement the Plan. The plan is put into action and strategies are
implemented as prescribed in the Plan.

Step #4. Monitoring. Measure indicators that assess the effectiveness of the strategies
designed to achieve particular objectives.

Step #5. Evaluation of monitoring outcomes. Actual outcomes from monitoring


programs are compared with predictions and the differences are interpreted.

Step #6. Adjust the Plan. Adjust management objectives, predictions and/or strategies
to reflect new knowledge and understanding gained from monitoring.

This management plan constitutes Steps #1, 2 and 4 in the adaptive management
process, and provides a strategy for implementation, evaluation and plan adjustment.
Details on the plan and its implementation are given in each licensing application; the
application also serves as an opportunity to evaluate monitoring outcomes and adjust
the plan as needed.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 18


6.0 REPORTING
CRO will report the status of harlequin duck-related actions and research projects in the
annual conservation & reclamation report. Detailed reports will be prepared and
submitted periodically as specific projects reach completion or at significant phases in
the project. Detailed reports and discussion in relation to on-going or proposed mine
development will be provided at each application phase. The effectiveness and
frequency of monitoring will be evaluated as mining continues and any proposed
changes to the monitoring program will be provided in annual reporting and in
consultation with ASRD.

A more detailed description of the current harlequin duck monitoring program, including
a list of the methods of measurement, is in included in Appendix 4.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 19


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and analysis of capture data. Academic Press, Inc. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
Publishers. Toronto ON. 237pp.

Smith, Cyndi M., and Constance M. Smith. 2003. Strait of Georgia, British Columbia -
nonbreeding area for Harlequin Ducks that breed throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Proceedings, 2003 Georgia Basin / Puget Sound Research Conference. 6pp.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 23


APPENDIX 1. FIGURES

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -0


APPENDIX 2. TABLES

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -5


Table 1. Chronology of CRO disturbances in the McLeod watershed
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Drainage Disturbance type Date of disturbance
Win Pre Nes Rr Win Pre Nes Rr Win Pre Nes Rr Win Pre Nes Rr Win Pre Nes Rr Win Pre Nes Rr Win Pre Nes Rr Win Pre Nes Rr
Cheviot haulroad, settling ponds April-Oct 2004
McLeod below Whitehorse Fishing enhancement features in March 2008, Oct
side-channels 2009
Whitehorse clear span crossing,
McLeod at Whitehorse May-July 2004
settling ponds
McLeod above Whitehorse Cheviot haulroad, settling ponds April-Oct 2004
powerline Aug-Dec 2004
McLeod clear span arch crossing Aug 2010-Jun 2011
Culvert crossing June-Aug 2011
Enhancement old mine disturbance
Sept 2012
along McLeod near Mountain Park
Mine development in Cheviot pits July 2004-2015
Mine development in Prospect pits March 2008-2014
November 2010-
Mine development in McLeod pits
2015
Mine development in Harris pit 2012-2018
Mine development in Prospect pits March 2008-2014
Prospect Creek
Clear span arch crossing and
Aug-Sept 2004
settling ponds
Clean water diversion Nov-Dec 2004
Settling pond Sept 2004
Cheviot Creek
Valley fill dump Oct 2004-2008
Mine development in Cheviot pits July 2004-2015
Clean water diversion Nov-Dec 2005
Thornton Creek Settling ponds 2006
Haulroad 2006
Powerhouse Creek Remove old crossing Oct 2011
Clean water diversion Oct 2011-July 2012
Harris Creek Settling pond July-Oct 2012
Mine development in Harris pit 2012-2018
Mile One (Unnamed "J")
Clean water diversion Oct 2011-June 2012
Creek
Table 2. Harlequin Duck use of the McLeod watershed prior to 2004 (refer to Figure 1 to 3 for
locations)
Habitat use Stream reach Harlequin habitat prior to 2004:

Length (lin. Effectiveness 1


m) (Effective length)
Pre-incubation McLeod between Lehigh bridge and 2100 A
Whitehorse confluence
McLeod-Whitehorse confluence 700 B-
random camping
Whitehorse Creek above McLeod 32 B-
random camping in future clear span
crossing area
McLeod above Whitehorse confluence 200 B-
to Harris Creek - random camping at
km 17
McLeod above Whitehorse confluence 7165 A
to Harris Creek - no random camping
area
Total Length (m) Pre-incubation = 10197 9265
Nesting only McLeod above Powerhouse Creek 2560 A
Powerhouse Creek outlet 93 B-
McLeod from Powerhouse to Thornton -
disturbed by historic mining 900 C-3
McLeod from Powerhouse to Thornton -
not disturbed by historic mining 1028 A

McLeod from Thornton to Harris Creek 545 A and B


Thornton Creek above diversion outlet
1430 A
Thornton Creek diversion 1208 A
Thornton Creek diversion - old mine
200 B-
dumps, ATV trails
Thornton Creek below diversion outlet
614 A
Harris Creek no random camping 1678 A
Harris Creek random camping 200 B-
Cheviot Creek 0 C4
Mile One (Unnamed "J") Creek 2419 A
Prospect Creek - no random camping
719 A
Prospect Creek - random camping 428 B-
Total Length (m) Nesting = 14022 12201
Brood-rearing McLeod between Whitehorse and
2100 A
Lehigh Bridge
McLeod - Whitehorse confluence and
future clear span crossing of 732 B-
Whitehorse
McLeod above Whitehorse confluence
to Thornton - random camping 200 B-

McLeod above Whitehorse confluence


to Thornton - no random camping 7980 A

Total Length (m) Brood-rearing = 11012 10080


Effectiveness 1: habitat effectiveness is ranked as either A (no issues identified), B (significant
recreational use periodically affects Harlequin duck use) or C (significant mine influence
through increased vehicular use, loss of habitat, potential increased predation risk, potential
water quantity/quality impact
(+) indicates increase in habitat effectiveness or amount from baseline 2004 status
(-) indicates decrease in habitat effectiveness or amount from baseline 2004 status
No shading indicates no net effect
C2 - Powerhouse Creek has an old crossing (berm and wooden culvert) that currently leaves
93 m between it and the mouth; above berm the gradient is too steep for nesting
C3 - Historic mine disturbance from coal cleaning has resulted in bed and banks of the river
comprised of coal tailings
C4 - Changes in flow regime due to historic mining eliminated any habitat that might have
been in Cheviot Creek
A5 - Prospect Creek is not rated as brood rearing habitat due to high background levels of
TSS and turbidity.
Table 3. Mining disturbance and mitigative measures in the McLeod watershed from 2004 to August 2011 (refer to Figures 1 to 3 for
Habitat use Stream reach CRO mine Avoidance and mitigative Net impact - habitat and Harlequin habitat affected
disturbance measures effectiveness as of Aug 2011
Length Effectiveness 1
(lin. m) (Effective length)
Pre-incubation McLeod from Cheviot haulroad Footprint avoids riparian Public road closer to river
Lehigh bridge to parallel to river except at Sulphur Spring; at Sulphur Spring with
Whitehorse from Lehigh to no new access created more direct line-of-sight
confluence area confluence for public access to the river and potential 2100 A
for disturbance here for
200m but ducks still use
area.
Settling ponds Avoids riparian no net impact 0 C
Fish habitat mitigation for fish habitat A small increase in side-
enhancement loss channel stream habitat
(640m) but not clearly
beneficial habitat for 0 C
ducks. No specific
evaluation has been
McLeod- Random camping was
Whitehorse eliminated at the
confluence confluence for 700m 700 C+
which had heavy public
use
Whitehorse Clear span Clear span instead of Riparian zone constricted
above crossing of culvert; construction under arch for 32m but
confluence Whitehorse Creek period occurred during maintained cobble
pre-incubation and substrate; potential for
32 C-
nesting and brood-rearing increased stream
periods; was monitored turbidity due to haulroad
during critical pre- runoff
incubation period
McLeod above McLeod above
Whitehorse Whitehorse
confluence to confluence to
Harris Harris Creek - 6697 A
no random
camping area
McLeod above Powerline power poles adjacent Some active
Whitehorse river potentially increase maintenance sites
confluence to predation by raptors over associated with this may
Harris background predation reduce effectiveness of
habitat near these sites; 468 C-
the power poles are used
by raptors, 13 poles
potentially increase the
risk of predation by
Cheviot Haulroad Footprint avoids riparian Substantial random
except at one pinch point camping eliminated at
near stream gauge; no random camp near km
new access created for 17 (200m); clearer line-of-
public access however site for 500m at pinch
500m of road now point between km 18 and 200 C+
elevated above height of km 19 is a potential
river between km 18 and negative; potential for
19 increased stream
turbidity due to haul road
runoff
Settling ponds Footprint avoids riparian; none
restricts public access to 0 C
river
Total Pre-incubation Effect Length (m) 10197 9697
Nesting only McLeod above 2011 Culvert 4-m culvert is large none
Powerhouse crossing is below enough to permit
Creek this section but upstream and
has potential to downstream movement; 2560 A
interfere with no instream work until
downstream brood after ducklings have
movement hatched and moved
downstream
Powerhouse ATV use eliminated Not useful for nesting
Creek due to steep gradient A

Powerhouse ATV use eliminated old berm located 93m


Creek upstream mouth 93 C

McLeod from The 2011 culvert crossing is in a reach Culvert will eliminate the
Powerhouse to (900m) that was heavily disturbed by 1940's riparian zone for 5-10
Thornton - mining and had no habitat use for ducks. years until fully
disturbed by After decommisioning and restoration, the reclaimed; potential for 900 C-
historic mining new habitat is expected to be more effective. increased stream
turbidity due to haul road
runoff
McLeod from
Powerhouse to
Thornton - 1028 A
notdisturbed by
historic mining
McLeod from Settling ponds Ponds are out of the none
Powerhouse to riparian zone C
Thornton - not McLeod and CC Pits are out of the Potential for increased
disturbed by pits McLeod riparian zone. stream turbidity due to pit
historic mining Settling ponds designed dewatering. C
to handle pit dewatering

McLeod from 2010 Clear-span Clear span instead of Public road now closer to
Thornton to arch of McLeod culvert; construction riparian with increased
Harris River downstream period. Construction direct line-of-sight from
of Thornton Creek occured during pre- raoad to the river;
incubation - unlikely ducks riparian zone constricted
would have used nesting under arch; potential for
324 C-
habitat in area - No increased stream
nesting under arch (30m) turbidity due to haul road
and likely have alienated runoff. Loss of
nesting above (120m) birch/willow nesting
and below arch (174m) habitat adjacent river and
valley bottom.
undisturbed by
crossing 221 A

Haulroad Haul road is out of the


riparian zone. Settling
C
ponds designed to handle
pit dewatering
McLeod and CC Pits are out of the
pits McLeod riparian zone.
Settling ponds designed C
to handle pit dewatering
Thornton Creek CC pit haulroad Pit disturbed old mining It is now possible with
above diversion and dump disturbance of limited reclamation to restore
outlet habitat value (200m). the disturbance made by
Recent mine plan old mining, Cheviot pit,
changes present haulroad and diversion at
opportunity to bring creek surface (1408m). With
across reclaimed surface. reclamation, upstream
2838 C-
Less of the creek was habitat (1430m) not
disturbed than originally disturbed by mining may
planned. The dump become available. The
originally planned for dump has been
Thornton valley was eliminated but the
eliminated and the pit will haulroad impacts some
now be backfilled riparian zone
Settling ponds These were constructed Settling ponds designed
within the existing to handle pit dewatering. C
footprint
Thornton Creek Diversion of 350m less of Thornton 614m of habitat remains
below diversion Cheviot & Creek was disturbed than functional downstream of
outlet Thornton Creeks originally planned the outlet. This was
614 A
originally planned to be
dumped or water diverted
from stream channel
Harris Creek none from mining no random camping
1678 A
yet
Harris Creek random camping near random camping near
200 C+
mouth eliminated mouth eliminated
Cheviot Creek stream was made not suitable for harlequin habitat by historic mining,
no habitat will exist post-reclamation C

Mile One ("J") none yet


2419 A
Creek
Prospect Creek Clear span Substantial random
crossing (2004) camping reduced;
Prospect potential for increased 400 C+
stream turbidity due to
haulroad runoff
Clear span Clear span instead of public use chanelled
crossing (2004) culvert under crossing 28 C-
Prospect
Prospect Creek no
random camping 719 A

Settling ponds Footprint avoids riparian none


C
Pit development in Upstream of nesting none
Prospect habitat; potential to
C
headwaters increase stream turbidity

Nesting (m) Total Length = 14022 9732


Brood-rearing McLeod between Cheviot haulroad Footprint avoids riparian Random camping was
Whitehorse and parallel to the river except at Sulphur Spring; eliminated but this was
Lehigh Bridge no new access created not within the riparian
for public access. zone so not a significant
issue; public road closer
to river at Sulphur Spring
with more direct line-of- 2100 A
sight to the river for
potential disturbance of
200m. Limited brood-
rearing use occurs in this
section
McLeod at Clear span Clear span versus culvert Substantial random
Whitehorse crossing of reduces impact camping was eliminated;
confluence Whitehorse Creek this stretch has since 700 C+
(2004) become effective brood-
rearing habitat
Clear span bank habitat lost under
crossing of arch but cobble bottom
Whitehorse Creek retained and random 32 C-
(2004) camping at confluence
eliminated
McLeod above Cheviot haulroad Footprint avoids riparian Substantial random
Whitehorse parallel to the river except at one pinch pointcamping eliminated at
near stream gauge; no random camp near km
new access created for 17 (200m); clearer line-of-
public access however site for 500m between 200 C+
500m of road now km 18 and km 19 is a
elevated above height of potential negative;
river between km 18 and potential for increased
19 stream turbidity due to
haul road runoff
Powerline Some active
maintenance sites
associated with this may
reduce effectiveness of
habitat near these sites; 468 C-
the power poles are used
by raptors, 13 poles
potentially increase the
risk of predation on
Clear-span Clear span instead of The nearness of the
crossing (2010) of culvert; construction new public road location
McLeod River period occurred pre- to the river (clearer line-
downstream of incubation - unlikely ducks of-site) may interfere with
Thornton Creek would have used area for effective use of habitat
(McLeod Arch) nesting during near the crossing - loss
construction. of birch/willow nesting 324 C-
habitat adjacent river and
valley bottom will
decrease value as
nesting habitat

no new
7188 A
disturbance
Total Length (m) Brood-rearing = 11012 10188
Effectiveness 1: habitat effectiveness is ranked as either A (no issues identified), B (significant recreational use periodically affects
Harlequin Duck use) or C (significant mine influence through increased vehicular use, loss of habitat, potential increased predation
risk, potential water quantity/quality impact
(+) indicates increase in habitat effectiveness or amount from baseline 2004 status
(-) indicates decrease in habitat effectiveness or amount from baseline 2004 status
No shading indicates no net effect
C2 - Powerhouse Creek has an old crossing (berm and wooden culvert) that currently leaves 93 m between it and the mouth; above
berm the gradient is too steep for nesting
C3 - Historic mine disturbance from coal cleaning has resulted in bed and banks of the river comprised of coal tailings
C4 - Changes in flow regime due to historic mining eliminated any habitat that might have been in Cheviot Creek
A5 - Prospect Creek is not rated highly as brood rearing habitat due to high background levels of TSS and turbidity
Table 4. Mining disturbance and mitigative measures forecast in the McLeod watershed to 2017 (refer to Figures 1 to 3 for locations)
Habitat use Stream reach CRO mine Avoidance and mitigative Net impact - habitat Harlequin habitat
disturbance measures and effectiveness affected to 2017
Length Effectiveness1
(lin. m) (Effective length)

Pre-incubation McLeod between no new disturbance water mgmt practices are None. Expect
Lehigh bridge and planned increasingly effective gradual increase in
Whitehorse confluence effectiveness with
2100 A
public access will need to water control,
continue to be controlled continued access
restriction,
McLeod - Whitehorse no new disturbance water mgmt practices are see above t ti
confluence increasingly effective
700 C+
public access will need to
continue to be controlled
Whitehorse above no new disturbance see above see above
McLeod confluence - 32 C-
clear span crossing
McLeod above no new disturbance see above see above
Whitehorse confluence positive effects from
200 C+
to Harris Creek eliminating random
camping remain
McLeod above reduced flows in see above see above
Whitehorse confluence McLeod between
105 C-
to Harris Creek Harris and Mille One
Creek
McLeod above no new disturbance; water mgmt practices are see above
Whitehorse confluence power pole potential increasingly effective
to Harris Creek effect remains 468 C-
public access will need to
continue to be controlled
McLeod above no new disturbance see above
Whitehorse confluence 6592 A
to Harris Creek
Total Length (m) Pre-incubation = 10197 9592
Nesting only McLeod above no new disturbance
2560 A
Powerhouse Creek
Powerhouse Creek The old historic crossing improved access for
and wooden culvert will ducks
be removed by 2012 and 93 B+
the site reclaimed to
nesting habitat at mouth
Powerhouse Creek Powerhouse Creek Not useful for nesting
will receive due to steep gradient
increasing ATV use
on trail along creek
McLeod from no new disturbance culvert will be removed
Powerhouse to by 2017 and revegetation
Thornton - disturbed underway; historic
900 C+
by historic mining disturbances will have
been reclaimed to
riparian habitat
McLeod from no new disturbance water mgmt practices are
Powerhouse to increasingly effective;
Thornton - not public access will need to 1028 A
disturbed by historic continue to be controlled
mining
McLeod from Thornton Harris pit and ex-pit Pits are out of the Potential for
to Harris dump; McLeod clear McLeod riparian zone but increased stream
span crossing within the Harris riparian. turbidity due to pit
Settling ponds designed dewatering.
to handle pit dewatering;
324 C-
clear span crossing
removes habitat and
reduces habitat
effectiveness up and
downstream
undisturbed by
crossing 221 A

Thornton Creek below no new disturbance water remains flowing in none


diversion outlet undisturbed channel 614 A
Thornton Creek above no new disturbance by 2017 backfilling and
diversion outlet reclamation in the pit will
have been completed 1408 C+
and the creek channel
will have been restored
Haul road and dump The dump originally
planned for Thornton C
Valley was eliminated
Thornton Creek above no new disturbance With restoration of mining
diversion inlet disturbance on surface,
habitat above the inlet 1430 C+
may become useable

Harris Creek Harris pit and ex-pit Settling ponds designed Potential for
dump to handle pit dewatering increased stream
turbidity due to pit
1598 C-
dewatering; loss of all
nesting habitat within
this drainage
Harris Creek maintain flows in McLeod loss of habitat below
diversion into Mile River ex-pit dump footprint 280 C-
One Creek
Cheviot Creek stream was made not suitable for harlequin habitat by historic mining,
no habitat will exist post-reclamation 0 C

Mile One (Unnamed Harris Creek maintain flows and water narrow band of
"J") Creek diversion into Mile quality; minimize temporary riparian 2419
One Creek disturbance disturbance for 910m
Prospect Creek arch no new disturbance
28 C-
Prospect Creek former
random camping 400 C+

Prospect Creek no
719 A
random camping
Total Length (m) Nesting = 14022 11178
Brood-rearing McLeod between no new disturbance water mgmt practices are Expect gradual
Whitehorse and Lehigh increasingly effective; increase in 2100 A
Bridge public access will need to effectiveness with
McLeod at Whitehorse no new disturbance continue to be controlled; water control,
confluence continued access 700 C+

Whitehorse clear span restriction,


crossing revegetation 32 C-

McLeod above no new disturbance water mgmt practices are


Whitehorse increasingly effective;
public access will need to 7283 A
continue to be controlled
McLeod above no new disturbance water mgmt practices are
Whitehorse increasingly effective;
public access will need to
continue to be controlled;
potential power pole
impact remains (468m);
reduced flows between 897 C-
Mile One and Harris
Creek (105m); McLeod
clear span crossing
remains (324m) but
revegetation may be
mitigating effects
Total Length (m) Brood-rearing = 11012 10083
1:
Effectiveness habitat effectiveness is ranked as either A (no issues identified), B (significant recreational use periodically affects
Harlequin duck use) or C (significant mine influence through increased vehicular use, loss of habitat, potential increased predation risk,
potential water quantity/quality impact
2
C - Powerhouse Creek has an old crossing (berm and wooden culvert) that currently leaves 93 m between it and the mouth; above
berm the gradient is too steep for nesting
C3 - Historic mine disturbance from coal cleaning has resulted in bed and banks of the river comprised of coal tailings
4
C - Changes in flow regime due to historic mining eliminated any habitat that might have been in Cheviot Creek
A5 - Prospect Creek is not rated highly as brood rearing habitat due to high background levels of TSS and turbidity
(+) indicates increase in habitat effectiveness or amount from baseline 2004 status
(-) indicates decrease in habitat effectiveness or amount from baseline 2004 status
No shading indicates no net effect
Table 5. Comparison of Harlequin Duck habitat in the McLeod watershed prior to 2004 and post-2017
Habitat use Stream reach Harlequin habitat prior to Harlequin habitat as of Change in
2004 2017 Effectiveness
Length Effectiveness1 Length Effectiveness1
(lin. m) (lin. m) (Effective length)
McLeod below Whitehorse 2100 A 2100 A
Pre-incubation confluence - area of no random
camping
McLeod/Whitehorse confluence 700 B- 700 C+
- random camping area
Whitehorse Creek above 32 B- 32 C-
McLeod (arch)
McLeod above Whitehorse 200 B- 200 C+
confluence - random camping
area
McLeod above Whitehorse - no 6592 A 6592 A
random camping
McLeod above Whitehorse - 573 A 573 C-
potential powerline effects
(468m); reduced flow between
Harris and Mile One (105m)
Total Length (m) Pre-incubation = 10197 9265 10197 9592 327
McLeod above Powerhouse
Nesting only
Creek 2560 A 2560 A
Powerhouse Creek outlet 93 B- 93 B-
McLeod from Powerhouse to
Thornton - disturbed by historic 900 C3- 900 C+
mining
McLeod from Powerhouse to
Thornton - not disturbed by 1028 B 1028 B
historic mining
McLeod from Thornton to Harris 221 A and B 221 A
McLeod from Thornton to Harris
clear span crossing 324 A and B 324 C-
Thornton Creek below diversion
inlet 614 A 614 A
Thornton Creek above diversion
outlet 1208 A 1208 C+
Thornton Creek above diversion
outlet, previous disturbance 200 B- 200 C+
Thornton Creek above diversion
inlet 1430 A 1430 A
Harris Creek undisturbed 1678 A 1678 C-
Harris Creek random camping 200 B- 200 C-
Cheviot Creek 0 C4 0
Mile One (Unnamed "J") Creek
2419 A 2419 A and C
Prospect Creek undisturbed 719 A 719 A
Prospect Creek random
camping 400 B- 400 C+
Prospect Creek clear span 28 B- 28 C-
i =
Total Length (m) Nesting 14022 12201 14022 11699 -502
McLeod - Whitehorse
Brood-rearing 700 B- 700 C+
confluence - random camping
McLeod below Whitehorse - no
2100 A 2100 A
random camping
Whitehorse clear span crossing 32 B- 32 C+
McLeod above Whitehorse
confluence - random camping 200 B- 200 C+
area
McLeod above Whitehorse
confluence - no random 7083 A 7083 A
camping
McLeod above Whitehorse - no
random camping, mine 897 A 897 C-
disturbance
Total Length (m) Brood-rearing = 11012 10080 11012 9415 -665
Effectiveness1: habitat effectiveness is ranked as either A (no issues identified), B (significant recreational use
periodically affects Harlequin duck use) or C (significant mine influence through increased vehicular use, loss of habitat,
potential increased predation risk, potential water quantity/quality impact
C2 - Powerhouse Creek has an old crossing (berm and wooden culvert) that currently leaves 93 m between it and the
mouth; above berm the gradient is too steep for nesting
C3 - Historic mine disturbance from coal cleaning has resulted in bed and banks of the river comprised of coal tailings
C4 - Changes in flow regime due to historic mining eliminated any habitat that might have been in Cheviot Creek
A5 - Prospect Creek is not rated highly as brood-rearing habitat due to high background levels of TSS and turbidity
(+) indicates increase in habitat effectiveness or amount from baseline 2004 status
(-) indicates decrease in habitat effectiveness or amount from baseline 2004 status
No shading indicates no net effect

Change in Effectiveness of Harlequin Habitat in the Mcleod River between 2004, 2011 and 2017
Habitat use Harlequin habitat prior to 2004 Harlequin habitat from Harlequin habitat as of 2017 Change in Change in Change in
Length (lin. m) Effectiven Length (lin. m) Effectiven Length (lin. m) Effectiveness1 Effectiven Effectiven Effectiven
ess1 ess1 (Effective length) ess 2004 ess 2011 ess 2004
Pre-incubation 10197 9265 10197 9697 10197 9592 432 -105 327
Netsing 14022 12201 14022 9732 14022 11699 -2469 1967 -502
Brood-rearing 11012 10080 11012 10188 11012 9415 108 -773 -665
Table  6.    Female  harlequin  duck  success  and  productivity  for  the  McLeod  watershed,  1996‐2010
(Bighorn 2011). 
Year   No.  No. Females  No. Ducklings % Successful  No. Ducklings  Female  Ro 
Females  with Broods  late Aug.  Females  per Females in  Survival 
in Spring  late Aug.  Spring 
1996  28  8  40  29  1.43  ‐  ‐ 
1997  24  5  25  21  1.04  ‐  ‐ 
1998  31  8  34  26  1.10  0.767  3.17 
1999  33  4  16  12  0.48  0.460  0.29 
2000  33  8  32  24  0.97  0.778  3.01 
2001  28  11  43  39  1.54  0.740  3.77 
2002  24  7  25  29  1.04  0.717  2.25 
2003  28  4  12  14  0.43  0.718  0.93 
2004  24  3  8  13  0.33  0.709  0.69 
2005  21  5  23  24  1.01  0.696  2.10 
2006  16  4  21  25  1.31  0.688  2.41 
2007  20  4  13  25  0.65  0.690  1.21 
2008  16  5  20  31  1.25  0.675  2.15 
2009  14  9  42  64  3.00  0.677  5.21 
2010  16  5  17  31  1.06  0.684  1.91 
Female survival rate calculated independently for each year. 
2009 Ro = survival rate (0.684) x (ducklings/females) x reproductive life span (1/[‐ln 0.684]) = 1.91 yrs. 

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -11


APPENDIX 3. DESCRIPTION OF THE AREAL EXTENT OF THE MCLEOD
HARLEQUIN DUCK SUBPOPULATION

Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation (ATPR) has identified 41 Harlequin Duck
element occurrences (EO) across the province
http://www.tpr.alberta.ca/parks/heritageinfocentre. The McLeod is identified as #009.
Other published reports have made reference to this designation for the Mcleod
Harlequin Ducks (i.e., “The Status of the Harlequin Duck in Alberta” (MacCallum 2001)
and “The Harlequin Duck in Alberta’s Northern Rocky Mountains and Foothills”
(Foothills Model Forest 2006).

An element is a unit of natural biological or physical diversity. In this case it represents


an animal species (Harlequin Duck), at a specific breeding location (breeding
occurrence). The definition of what constitutes a breeding occurrence may vary from
species to species but generally refers to an area occupied by the species at a specific
time. Element occurrence specifications may specify minimum separation distances
between locations of the element before they can be considered as separate
occurrences. The minimum criteria for delineating an element occurrence for the
Harlequin Duck is:

“Evidence of breeding (including historical); and potential recurring breeding at a given


location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs, nests or
females with flightless young in appropriate habitat. EOs are defined by a drainage, or
portion of a drainage, where breeding is known or highly suspected.”

More specific definitions for Harlequin Duck population element occurrence delineation
can be found at the Nature Serve website: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer

The McLeod Harlequin Duck element occurrence (#009) is identified by ATPR as the
“area of McLeod River with tributaries to its junction” meaning all portions of the McLeod
and tributaries upstream of the junction with Antler Creek (Figure 4). Females nesting
in the McLeod population fulfill all life requirements in the McLeod and during the
breeding season will not be found in neighbouring breeding occurrences like the Gregg
River. Larger tributaries of the McLeod which are used by the McLeod Harlequin Duck
population include Whitehorse Creek and Mackenzie Creek.

Harlequins use the McLeod EO in a spatially discrete manner during the breeding
season. Figures 1-3 demonstrate spatial distribution during pre-incubation (May),
nesting (June) and brood-rearing (July and August, early September).

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -12


APPENDIX 4. CURRENT MONITORING PROGRAM

As Harlequin Ducks are long-lived birds and the stability of a population is generally thought to
be maintained by adult survival, there may be substantial time lags between changes in primary
demographic parameters and resulting changes in population size as measured by census or
survey methods. Local variations in population size may often be masked (George et al. 1992)
or accentuated (DeSante 1990) by varying levels of recruitment from a wider area and by a
number of immediate environmental factors, such as ambient temperature, water flow, turbidity,
heavy metals, prey availability, predator exposure and human disturbances. In addition, there
are other factors that can act on a long-time scale, such as over winter conditions, which can be
viewed as a lag effect, potentially operating on a timescale of one or more years. Primary
demographic parameters (vital rates) are thus critical in understanding population dynamics and
are directly applicable to population models that can be used to assess land-management
practices (Noon and Sauer 1992).

CROs current monitoring program generates primary demographic factors for the McLeod
harlequin population by means of an annual pre-incubation and brood survey. Methods are
detailed in annual reports. To ensure a valid comparison with previous population estimates for
the McLeod watershed, CRO will continue with its current approach, methods, and level of effort
remain for the duration of 2012. After which, the effectiveness and frequency of monitoring will
be evaluated and any proposed changes to the monitoring program will be provided in annual
reporting and in consultation with ASRD.

A list of primary demographic factors and methods of measurement follow:

• Population Estimate Method:


o The spring population of Harlequin Ducks is estimated using a Capture-Mark-
Resighting method based on a two-sample study. A capture and banding
session is followed by an instream foot survey in May. The foot survey begins on
the McLeod at the Steeper bridge and ends at the bridge below the Cardinal
Divide. Major tributaries (Prospect Creek, Whitehorse Creek and Drummond
Creek) are also surveyed. This survey procedure provides basic information for
calculation of a number of population parameters.

• Population Estimate Calculation:


o A population estimate is calculated using a Lincoln-Petersen estimator (Lincoln
1930) revised by Chapman (1951) and Seber (1982:60). This may be replaced
with the zero-inflated Poisson-log normal mixed effects model (ZPNE) once an
evaluation is finished (see Section 5.0).

• Apparent (Local) Annual Survival and Encounter Rates:


o Calculated used the Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) mark-recapture model. This
may be replaced with the zero-inflated Poisson-log normal mixed effects model
(ZPNE) once an evaluation is finished (see section 5.0).

• Population Trend
o A linear regression t-test is used to detect population trends. Regression
analysis provides an estimate of rate of change or trend of counts with time, also
known as the slope of the regression. If the slope is not statistically different from
zero then a population is assumed to be stable (no trend is evident) (Elzinga et

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -13


al. 2001). Statistical software JMP is used to perform the analyses. Other
methods of investigating net growth of a population, i.e., Pradel’s lambda will be
evaluated for use in future reporting. Note that lambda estimated from Pradel
models is the realized growth rate of the age class from which the encounter
histories were generated, which is not necessarily equivalent to the growth rate
of the population.

• Productivity
o A preliminary brood survey is conducted late July. This survey identifies the
location of younger broods, and their development as well as identifying the
location of females without broods that are staging to migrate to the coast. A
banding session and full brood survey are conducted beginning in mid August.
The instream foot survey begins on the McLeod River at Cadomin and continues
to the bridge below the Cardinal Divide. Major tributaries (Prospect, Whitehorse,
and Drummond) are surveyed, as during the spring survey. Broods, the number
of ducklings and their stage of development are noted and placed into one of
seven categories based on plumage development, colour and size (Wallen
1987).

• Net Reproductive Rate:


o An estimate of net reproductive rate (Ro) is calculated using female survival, the
number of ducklings present in the McLeod River just prior to migration (late
August) and the total number of females present during the spring (pre-
incubation). This measure will be evaluated against other measures and
adjusted if appropriate.

• Population Distribution:
o Results of the May and August in-stream foot surveys are summarized and
locations mapped for the pre-incubation and brood surveys. Survey results are
also submitted to FWMIS.

Annual reporting includes observations on the presence of predators, water levels, water
quality, human disturbance and other factors that may affect harlequin distribution or numbers.
Rosenburg et al. (1999) indicate that monitoring can be considered a preliminary search for
patterns to be tested in detailed field studies, or to provide information on system state. In this
sense, monitoring helps direct priorities for applied research. Annual / biannual meetings with
mine, government and consultant personnel from the various disciplines (water, invertebrates,
Harlequin Ducks, fish, others) would provide an ideal communication opportunity to present and
discuss results.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -14


APPENDIX 5. MINING IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES

The past 7 years of construction and development at the Cheviot mine have resulted in
impacts to riparian habitats used by the Harlequin Duck. Examples of these impacts
include clear span and culvert crossings, haul roads, settling ponds and the
development of waste rock dumps and pits in riparian zones. Many avoidance and
mitigation measures have also been taken to reduce the impacts of these
developments. A summary of the developments and avoidance/mitigative measures to
date is provided in Table 3.

Future mining plans involve a number of similar developments. A summary of these


developments and the mitigative measures currently planned is provided in Table 4.
Also included in Tables 3 and 4 are the goals and objectives associated with each of the
developments and mitigative measures.

Tables 2 and 3 provide a complete summary of those disturbances that have been or
are expected to be implemented. They do not provide a complete summary of those
other actions such as mine plans that have been changed to minimize impacts in
riparian zones. These are summarized below:

• Proceeding with the private haul road project (in 2004) and canceling plans for a
rail line and its associated requirement to: change the alignment of the McLeod
River in 4 locations; construct 900m of riprap in brood-rearing habitat along the
McLeod River above the confluence of Whitehorse Creek; and use culverts
instead of a clear span crossing at Prospect Creek;
• Revise material handling plans to eliminate two ex-pit dumps in Prospect, one in
Thornton and one in Powerhouse, and to greatly reduce the size of the Harris ex-
pit dump;
• Retaining a biologist on-site during haul road construction activity to monitor and
provide advice regarding Harlequin Duck health and status;
• Monitoring Harlequin Duck response to construction of the Whitehorse clear span
crossing
• Modifying the fisheries compensation plan to avoid constructing over-wintering
ponds in sensitive Harlequin Duck habitat;
• Initiate reclamation of re-handled historical slack coal piles along the upper
McLeod River to enable eventual redevelopment of riparian vegetation;
• CRO undertaking and/or assisting other organizations to complete scientific and
technical studies to improve understanding of Harlequin Duck ecology, and
habitat in the area.

Table 5 provides a comparison of the habitats available prior to 2004 with those
available (and restored) at the end of 2017.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -15


APPENDIX 6. REGIONAL PROGRAMS AND REGIONAL INFORMATION REVIEW

Monitoring of the McLeod harlequin population has not occurred in isolation, indeed the current
6 part management plan includes an item specifically to initiate and support relevant regional
initiatives (see section 1.2, Part 6). Regional initiatives that have been completed include:

• provision of air / ground visibility correction for the 1998 and 1999 CWS / AF&W east
slope Harlequin Duck survey

• initiation of the FMF Harlequin Duck Program (a list of reports and outcomes are found
in Appendix I)

• collaboration with Simon Fraser University to support various research initiatives (a list of
authors and papers are found in Appendix I)

In the near term, it is CRO’s intention to explore what opportunities exist for an overreaching
harlequin duck management framework on a regional scale. Teck is both interested and
committed to continue being a catalyst to (1) gauge the level of interest from regional parties
including regulatory agencies, and (2) promote regional collaboration between programs and
initiate new ones as needed.

Regional reviews of other harlequin population survey results have periodically been included in
the Cheviot Harlequin Duck annual monitoring reports (see Bighorn 2007:8). Recent results
from harlequin surveys in Alberta and Southern BC are summarized briefly here:

™ Bow River, Banff National Park:

Humphries (2011) reports that the population index for the Bow River from 1995 to 2010 shows
an overall decrease in the average number of [Harlequin] Ducks found in the regular productivity
survey area. Numbers based on estimates (rather than road side counts) are:

1995 111 ± na
2004 83 ±na
2006 87 ±19SD
2007 45 ±15SD

The number of pairs detected seems to be declining gradually from higher numbers generally
seen in the mid 90’s to the current numbers. Many factors are likely involved. At least one
brood and possibly two were reared in the section of the Bow from Lake Louise to Castle
junction in 2010. This is an improvement over the last few years when no broods were detected
by August.

™ Willmore: Information forthcoming – available after August 29


™ Southern Alberta:

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -16


Harlequin Duck surveys are conducted annually on the Oldman / Livingston Rivers and
Carbondale River / Lynx Creek. Brandy Downey (AB F&W) indicates that:

• The population was highest in between 2000-2003, number of harlequins observed have
decreased between 2004-2006 and have remained low since.
• The Carbondale River and Lynx creek survey routes were impacted by the Hillcrest fire
in 2003.
• Both areas have seen an increase in the amount of random camping, off road vehicle
use and fisherman due in the area. However further study is required to determine if
these factors are impacting the harlequin population.

™ Southern BC (Salmo River):

A Harlequin Duck survey of the Salmo River is conducted periodically for the Fish & Wildliofe
Compensation Program Columbia Basin (www.fwcp.ca). Machmer (2010) reports that relative
to 10 years ago, when the first full survey (adult & brood) of the watershed was completed there
were a number of changes including:

• A bi-modal arrival period (some on time and some later than normal),
• The total number of adults in the Salmo watershed has declined from an estimated 51
(31 males; 20 females) to 42 (24 males; 18 females).
• The number of broods that made it to the class 3 phase of development went from 10 in
1999 to 8 broods in 2010 (despite a considerably greater survey effort this time).
• Apparent re-distribution of pairs (and especially pairs with successful broods) in the
watershed. Ten years ago there was a more or less “scattered” distribution of broods all
along the watershed whereas in 2010, 4 of the 8 broods that reached class 3 were
concentrated in a single reach below the mouth of Sheep Creek. The other 4 broods all
came from the same places that were also occupied and successful in 1999, with no
colonization of “new” areas observed.

A number of issues were identified during the survey of the Salmo River: effects of the
recreational trail and its uses upstream of Salmo and how this has influenced the re-distribution,
ongoing fertilization of Sheep Creek and downstream areas, lower water levels in the northern
portion of the watershed, and potential effects of future rafting activities.

BC coastal water bird survey:


The BCCWS is a volunteer-based survey that focuses on monitoring the bird populations in and
around the Strait of Georgia. During the first 5 year survey (1999-2004) harlequins were found
all along the coast, their highest numbers are clearly on the central part of the east coast iof
Vancouver Island (Badzinski et al. 2006:42) Highest numbers were recorded from Fillongley
Provincial Park, Denman Island (871), and Middle Bay, Hornby Island (750). The population
index apparently stable, as was the long-term Christmas Bird Count trend from 1950 to 1988 in
British Columbia (Sauer et al. 1996).

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -17


APPENDIX 7. SUMMARY OF CHEVIOT HARLEQUIN DUCK SIX PART
MANAGEMENT PLAN

In February 1996 it was predicted that the activities associated with the Cheviot Mine would
result in the loss of nesting habitat in the higher tributaries (Harris, Thornton and Cheviot
Creeks) of the McLeod River (Bighorn 1996). It was expected that the loss of this habitat would
result in an overall reduction of the McLeod Harlequin Duck population but that with mitigation, a
breeding subpopulation would be maintained in the post-mining watershed. At the time, there
was little known about the spatial and temporal distribution of harlequins in the McLeod
watershed, and a rigorous population estimate had not been undertaken for this subpopulation.
Information on regional occurrence of harlequins in Alberta was available from various agencies
in the form of records and reports to indicate that harlequins were widespread in appropriate
habitat in the Rocky Mountain Foothills and Mountains. However no comprehensive survey had
been undertaken and an estimate of harlequin numbers in the province was not available. A six
part management plan was developed to mitigate the impacts of the Cheviot Mine on Harlequin
Ducks. The purpose of this program is:

"to provide a data base on Harlequin Duck populations and life cycle
requirements in the Cheviot area so that the company can employ all reasonable
methods available to reduce mine development impacts on the Harlequin Duck.
Through monitoring efforts and reduction of disturbance levels in riparian areas,
development effects on the Harlequin Duck can be understood and minimized
towards [the] overall goal [to] maintain a viable population" (CRC 1998:56).

The plan objectives were:

PART 1) Conduct detailed study to understand harlequin populations and


use of Cheviot area.

PART 2) Reduce impacts during construction phase.

PART 3) Reduce impacts during mining including reduction of disturbance


levels in riparian.

PART 4) Implement stream restoration / enhancement activities.

PART 5) Develop long term monitoring program.

PART 6) Initiate and participate in cooperative regional studies.

A short summary and update of the outcome or on-going work of each Part of the Cheviot six
part management plan and a list of reports and publications generated from this work follows:

PART 1) Conduct detailed study to understand harlequin populations and use of Cheviot
area.

A multi-year detailed study to provide basic biological and ecological information about
harlequin duck distribution, abundance, and use of the McLeod watershed was initiated in 1996.
This study contributes significantly to a growing body of literature on the biology and
conservation of the Harlequin Duck in western Canada. Results are found in the Cheviot
Harlequin Duck annual reports (Bighorn 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000) and in many publications

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -18


produced as a result of collaboration with researchers from Simon Fraser University, Jasper and
Banff National Parks, Canadian Wildlife Service and Alberta Fish and Wildlife. Annual reports
were widely circulated by means of a large distribution list. Some of the results and outcomes
of the Cheviot Harlequin Duck study are listed below:

- gained understanding of the phenology of use of the McLeod watershed by harlequins (i.e.,
arrival and departure dates of mated pairs, failed females, and hens with broods, incubation
initiation, hatch dates);

- identified the location of stream reaches used by mated pairs arriving from the coast during the
pre-incubation period (Bighorn 1999:31);

- identified of nesting locations, nest site characteristics and nest use within the McLeod
watershed (Bighorn 1998, Robertson and Goudie 1999);

- identified the location of brood-rearing stretches used by females with broods (Bighorn
1999:31).

- identified Powerhouse Creek and Cheviot Creek as unsuitable for harlequin nesting due to
steep gradients (Powerhouse Creek) and modifications made by mining in the first half of the
20th century (Cheviot Creek)

- identified breeding status of the streams and reaches comprising the McLeod River and its
tributaries (Bighorn 2000; Figures 1.1 to 1.4);

- increased knowledge of predator-prey relationships and anti-predator behaviour (Bighorn


2000:10, MacCallum 2003)

- increased understanding of factors affecting habitat use by Harlequin Ducks in breeding


stream habitat (Bighorn 2000:15).

- first documentation of the movement of a female harlequin during breeding season between
watersheds (Bighorn 2000:7, Smith and Smith 2003).

- gained insight into brood behaviour (hiding on stream bank, travel overland; MacCallum 2001).

- gained insight into the nature of migration in the species (Bighorn 1999:40, MacCallum 2001,
Robertson and Goudie 1999, Smith 2000, Chapter 3)

- contributed to identifying the location of moult and wintering grounds of Harlequin Ducks
(Bighorn 1998:12, Robertson and Goudie 1999, Smith and Smith 2003)

- contributed to a study of aging Harlequin Duck drakes using plumage characteristics (Smith
2000, Chapter 4).

- one of the first applications of a mark-resighting population estimation techniques to Harlequin


Ducks on breeding streams.

- contributed to preparation of the report “The Status of the Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus
histrionicus) in Alberta (MacCallum 2001).

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -19


- contributed to International Barcode of Life Project, University of Guelph, Ontario, Dr. Paul
Hebert

Information gained from the detailed study was used to develop a mitigation strategy as well as
a long term monitoring program to track the response of Harlequin Ducks to the Cheviot Mine
development. Collaboration with researchers from Simon Fraser University is on-going.

PART 2) Reduce impacts during construction phase.

Ongoing activities include construction of bank to bank structures to avoid disturbing stream
bottoms for the Whitehorse, Prospect and McLeod crossings plus other specific mitigation for
the Cheviot haulroad and arch construction.

PART 3) Reduce impacts during mining including reduction of disturbance levels in


riparian.

Information gathered during the detailed study and annual monitoring is reviewed and
incorporated into mine plans at the licensing stage e.g., specific mitigation developed for
Cheviot Pit included moving the toe of the dump in Thornton Creek upstream of the highest
known harlequin nest thereby maintaining 350 m of nesting habitat during mining process.

PART 4) Implement stream restoration / enhancement activities.

Opportunities for the restoration of impacted riparian habitats in the vicinity of the abandoned
town site of Mountain Park were identified. Initial levelling, seeding, and tree planting of mine
waste at Mountain Park has occurred since 2004. Development of techniques to restore stream
banks to dense willow-birch shrub cover is planned.

PART 5) Develop long term monitoring program.

In 2000, monitoring to document the harlequin duck response to the construction and mining
phases throughout the life of the Cheviot project was initiated. The purpose of the monitoring
program is to provide information on the harlequin duck population to apply adaptive
management techniques as required to ensure that viable populations of harlequin ducks will
remain in the Cheviot area. Appropriate techniques are emphasized to ensure consistent
information to allow comparison of population levels over a long period of time.

CROs integrated monitoring program provides information on the pre-incubation adult


population, productivity and survival. Survival is an important demographic parameter for
understanding population status and predicting population trends. This is important for species
like Harlequin ducks which are long-lived with relatively low investment in annual reproduction
(Esler et al. 2000). Components of the Cheviot integrated monitoring program are:

- the pre-incubation adult population is estimated using mark-resighting techniques and an in-
stream foot survey

- linear regression t-tests are used to detect population trends

- apparent (local) annual survival and encounter rates are calculated based on resighting of
banded birds and the Cormack Jolly-Seber model in program MARK.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -20


- A replicated instream foot survey is used to estimate the number of broods present in the
McLeod system in the late summer prior to migration. The brood survey consists of an instream
walking survey in late July/early August, a banding session in mid-August and an instream
walking survey in late August prior to migration.

- net reproductive rate is calculated using female survival, the number of ducklings produced
and total number of females in spring.

- mapping of distribution of adults in the pre-incubation period (May) and broods in August.

A complete review of CRO’s long term monitoring program is found in Section C of this
proposal.

PART 6) Initiate and participate in cooperative regional studies and publication of aspects
the Cheviot Harlequin Duck Study

Teck provided the catalyst to engage in cooperative regional studies by setting up meetings with
the Foothills Model Forest and relevant wildlife agencies during the summer of 1998.
Participants expressed interest in determining of the regional population and conservation
status of the Harlequin Duck and the outlook to future conservation needs. Existing information,
ongoing studies and some new investigations were used to address these issues. A number of
reports were produced and presentations made at various symposia (i.e., Gregoire 2000):

Gregoire, P., J. Kneteman, and J. Allen. 1999. Harlequin Duck surveys in the central eastern
slopes of Alberta, Spring 1998. Canadian Wildlife service Technical Report Series No. 329.
Canadian Wildlife service, Prairie and Northern Region, Edmonton, AB. 11pp.

Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd. 1999. Harlequin Duck use of the McLeod River watershed,
1998 progress report for the Cheviot Harlequin Duck Study. Prepared by B. MacCallum, B.
Godsalve, and M. Bugera. Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd., Hinton, AB for Cardinal River
Coals Ltd., Hinton, AB. 40pp.

Gregoire, P. 2000. Harlequin Duck surveys north of the Willmore Wilderness Park, and south
of the North Saskatchewan River, May 21, 25, June 1, 1999. Canadian Wildlife Service,
Environment Canada, Edmonton, AB.

Gregoire, P. 2000. Unpublished CWS Harlequin Duck surveys between Athabasca and Smoky
River 1999. Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Edmonton, AB.

Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd. 2000. The Cheviot Harlequin Duck study, summary 1999.
Prepared by B. MacCallum and B. Godsalve., Hinton, AB for Cardinal River Coals Ltd. 21pp.

The Foothills Model Forest published a review of breeding ecology and conservation outlook for
the Harlequin Duck in Alberta’s Northern Rocky Mountains and Foothills. The report “The
Harlequin Duck in Alberta’s Northern Rocky Mountains and Foothills, A review of Breeding
ecology and Conservation Outlook”.(FMF 2006) is found on their web site at:
http://foothillsresearchinstitute.ca/pages/ProgramsHarlequin_Duck/default.aspx

With the startup of the Cheviot Mine, Bighorn Wildlife Technologies Ltd. agreed to find partners
from agencies who were interested in publication of the Cheviot Harlequin Duck study and to

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -21


produce a series of papers for publication in the peer-reviewed literature. Publications resulting
from this effort are:

• Bond, J. C., S. A. Iverson, N. B. MacCallum, C. M. Smith, H. J. Bruner, D. Esler. in press.


Variation in breeding season survival of adult female harlequin ducks. Journal of Wildlife
Management 73(6):965-972. Partners: Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Simon Fraser
University; Bighorn Wildlife Technologies Ltd., and Department of Forest Science,
Oregon State University.

• MacCallum B., M. Paibomesai, C. Feder, and B. Godsalve. 2010. Modeling harlequin duck
brood-rearing habitat in an Alberta Rocky Mountain east slope stream. Submitted to
Avian Conservation and Ecology in 2010. Partners: Alberta Conservation Association,
Alberta Parks and Protected Areas, Teck Coal Limited, Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd. In-
kind: Bighorn Wildlife Technologies Ltd., University of Calgary, Foothills Research
Institute.

• Challenger, W. 2010. Modeling non-independent fates in mark-recapture experiments.


Chapter of PhD dissertation. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC. Partners:
MITACS/Accelerate Internship Program, Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd., FRIAA, Bighorn
Wildlife Technologies Ltd. MITACS supervisor is Dr. Carl Schwarz, Department of
Statistics and Actuarial Sciences, Simon Fraser University.

• Investigation into female harlequin survival in McLeod River and Whitehorse Creek. W.
Challenger and B. MacCallum. (See Section 5.0 of this report).

References:

Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd. 1997. The abundance, distribution, and life history of the
Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) in the McLeod River and adjacent streams of the
Alberta Foothills, 1996 progress report for the Cheviot Harlequin Duck study. Prepared by B.
MacCallum, Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd., Hinton, AB for Cardinal River Coals Ltd.,
Alberta Wildlife Management, Canadian Wildlife Service and Jasper National Park. 30pp. plus
Appendices.

Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd. 1998. Harlequin Duck use of the McLeod River watershed,
1997 progress report for the Cheviot Harlequin Duck Study. Prepared by B. MacCallum, and M.
Bugera. Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd., Hinton, AB for Cardinal River Coals Ltd., Alberta
Wildlife Management, and Canadian Wildlife Service. 25pp. plus Appendices.

Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd. 1999. Harlequin Duck use of the McLeod River watershed,
1998 progress report for the Cheviot Harlequin Duck Study. Prepared by B. MacCallum, B.
Godsalve, and M. Bugera. Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd., Hinton, AB for Cardinal River
Coals Ltd., Hinton, AB. 40pp.

Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd. 2000. The Cheviot Harlequin Duck study, summary 1999.
Prepared by B. MacCallum, and B. Godsalve., Hinton, AB for Cardinal River Coals Ltd. 21pp.

Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd. 2004. Harlequin Duck Study, Cheviot 2003. Prepared by
B. MacCallum, and B. Godsalve. for Elk Valley Coal Corporation, Cardinal River Operations,
Hinton, AB. 11pp.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -22


Bighorn Environmental Design Ltd. 2005. Harlequin Duck Study, Cheviot 2004. Prepared by B.
MacCallum, and B. Godsalve for Elk Valley Coal Corporation, Cardinal River Operations,
Hinton, AB. 49pp.

Bighorn Wildlife Technologies Ltd. 2006. Harlequin Duck Study, Cheviot 2005. Prepared by B.
MacCallum, and B. Godsalve for Elk Valley Coal Corporation, Cardinal River Operations,
Hinton, AB. 16pp.

Esler, D., J. A. Schmutz, R. L. Jarvis, and D. M. Mulcahy. 2000. Winter survival of adult female
Harlequin Ducks in relation to history of contamination by the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill. Journal
of Wildlife Management 64(3):839-847.

Foothills Model Forest. 2006. The Harlequin Duck in Alberta’s Northern Rocky Mountains and
Foothills, A review of Breeding ecology and Conservation Outlook. 95pp.

Gregoire, P. 2000. Harlequin Duck surveys on the eastern slopes of Alberta, preliminary
results 1998, 1999. Proceedings of the Fifth Harlequin Duck Symposium, March 16th and 17th,
2000. The Inn at Semiahmoo, Blaine, WA. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Lindenmayer, D. B., and G. E. Likens. 2010. Effective Ecological Monitoring. CSIRO


Publishing, Australia 170pp.

MacCallum, B. 1997. Proposed rail and road mitigation for Harlequin Ducks. Pages 24-38 in
Clevenger, A. and K. Wells (Eds.) "Roads, Rails and the Environment Workshop II, April 9-10,
1997", Columbia Mountains Institute, Revelstoke BC.

MacCallum, B. 2001. Status of the Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) in Alberta.


Alberta Environment, Fisheries and Wildlife Management Division, and Alberta Conservation
Association, Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 27, Edmonton AB. 38pp.

MacCallum, B. 2003. Osprey attack on a Harlequin Duck brood. Blue Jay Vol. 61(2):126.

Robertson, G. J., and R. I. Goudie. 1999. Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus). In The
Birds of North America, No. 466 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds). The Birds of North America, Inc.,
Philadelphia, PA. 32pp.

Smith, Cyndi M., and Constance M. Smith. 2003. Strait of Georgia, British Columbia -
nonbreeding area for Harlequin Ducks that breed throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Proceedings, 2003 Georgia Basin / Puget Sound Research Conference. 6pp.

Harlequin Duck Management Plan September 2011 A -23


Teck Coal Limited +1 870 962 5100 Tel
Cardinal River Operations +1 870 962 5138 Fax
Bag Service 2570 www.teck.com
Hinton, AB Canada T7V 1V5

Submitted by email
July 31, 2013

Mesbah Ahmed
Industrial Approvals Engineer
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
250 Diamond Avenue
Spruce Grove, AB, T7X 4C7

Dear sir:

Ambient Air Monitoring Program- Amendment 2013


EPEA Approval 11767-02-01, Conditions 4.1.18 to 4.1.24

The attached document represents the complete amendment to the original Ambient Air Monitoring
Program submitted on December 29, 2011 (Re: Ambient Air Monitoring Program Proposal). The
amendment incorporates your recommendations from January 2012 and recent changes to the sampler
equipment.
Please accept this submission in fulfillment of the above noted conditions. I regret the amount of time it
has taken to implement this program. I also appreciate your tolerance and assistance in this matter. I am
confident we have a solidified a manageable and appropriate program to assess ambient air conditions.
As per condition 4.1.20, please provide written authorization for the attached program.
We welcome your input and invite you to the site for inspection of the installations once they are
operational in September.
Thank you for your help.
Sincerely,

Ritchard LaBoucane, R.P.F.


Senior Environment Officer
Teck Coal Ltd – Cardinal River Operations
Office: 780-692-5220
Cell: 780-817-6877
ritchard.laboucane@teck.com

cc: Marc Symbaluk, Teck Coal CRO


Ryan Puhlmann, ESRD
Nicole Pysh, ESRD
Teck Coal Limited +1 870 962 5100 Tel
Cardinal River Operations +1 870 962 5138 Fax
Bag Service 2570 www.teck.com
Hinton, AB Canada T7V 1V5

CRO Ambient Air Monitoring Program


Monitoring Parameters Parameters to be measured will be total suspended
particulate (TSP)

Monitoring Locations (Appendix A) Station (a): Highway 40 in an area where the air model
predicted a plume of the highest TSP values (northeast of the
Coal Processing Plant).

Station (b): Hamlet of Cadomin, enclosed within the weather


station/dust-fall canister gated compound.

Station (c): Whitehorse Creek Campground, enclosed within a


fenced research area at the northeast end of the
campground, closest to the Cheviot Haul Road.

Monitoring Frequency and Method MiniVol™ Tactical Air Sampler (TAS) will be used to sample
TSP at all three locations. It uses patented low flow
technology developed jointly with the U.S Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). It is supplied by GENEQ inc. All three
samplers will operate on a 6-day schedule created by
Environment Canada’s National Air Pollution Surveillance
(NAPS) (Appendix B).

Method of Analysis or Measurement TSP will be measured by a MiniVol™ TAS which will be
operated in accordance with the Air Monitoring Directive,
1989, as amended. TSP filters will be prepared, provided, and
analyzed by ALS Laboratories in Edmonton. All data
management will be incorporated into the CRO QA/QC
program.
Maintenance Requirements and Calibration The MiniVol™ TAS has specific maintenance requirements for
the 4 main components: size-fractionating impactors, flow
control system, a specially designed inlet, and battery pack.
Each component has specific cleaning requirements (i.e.
greasing parts, removing excess dirt build up), as well as,
manifested conditions (i.e. irregular flow) if components are
not working properly. These specific requirements are located
in the MiniVol™ TAS Operation Manual Rev 1.2 produced by
AirMetrics (http://www.airmetrics.com/downloads.html).

A primary standard is used to calibrate a transfer standard,


which in turn is used to calibrate the sampler rotameters. The
rotameter calibration steps are found here:
http://airmetrics.com/products/minivol/calibration6.html.

Flow audits will also be performed using procedure steps


found here:
http://airmetrics.com/products/minivol/calibration12.html.

To ensure accurate measurement, the sampler will be


calibrated upon installation and then recalibrated as follows:

1. At least annually.
2. After any repairs that might affect sampler
calibration.
3. If the field calibration flow check results exceed QC
limits (±10% from the sampler's indicated flow rate),
flow check is performed quarterly.

Air flow calibration curves are calculated using specific


calibrated formulas combined with site specific requirements.
The specific calculations are located in section 8.2 of the
MiniVol™ TAS Operation Manual Rev 1.2.

All records of compliance to all manufacturer maintenance


requirements and field observations are recorded. Field
observations and general equipment condition comments will
be recorded every 6 days during sampling and maintenance
requirements will be performed and recorded every fifth
sample run.

Monitoring Duration and Start Date Monitoring will begin in 2014. Monitoring will occur for 3
years, after which data will be analyzed and compared to the
Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives and Guidelines
Summary (February 2013). If the data demonstrates no
concern with the monitoring parameters, this monitoring
program will be ceased upon written authorization by the
director (condition 4.1.23)

2
Training and Responsibility Sampling All CRO Environment field staff will be trained to operate and
qualified to sample on the 6-day sampling schedule.
Environment Coordinator, or trained designate, will be
responsible for fulfilling the sampling requirements stated in
this program.

Reporting Frequency Data will be reported annually within the “Annual Air
Summary and Evaluation Report” submitted by March 31 of
each year under EPEA 11767-02-01.

Appendix A

3
4
APPENDIX B

5
Teck Coal Limited +1 780 692 5168 Tel
Marina Moore
Cardinal River Operations +1 780 817 6877 Mobile
Sr. Environment Coordinator Bag Service 2570 www.teck.com
marina.moore@teck.com Hinton, AB, Canada T7V 1V5

March 31, 2017

BY EMAIL ONLY: Nadia.Haider@aer.ca, epea.reports@aer.ca

Nadia Haider, P.Eng.


Manager – Coal Mining Authorizations
th
Suite 1000, 250-5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4

RE: Revised Cheviot Groundwater Monitoring Plan

Per the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, R.S.A. 2000, c.E-12 as amended, Approval
46972-01-02, Section 4.5, Condition 4.5.1, Cardinal River Operations (CRO) is submitting a revised
Cheviot Groundwater Monitoring Plan.

The monitoring portion of the Plan will be implemented as of April 1, 2017. Therefore, if after review there
are any concerns with the Plan; CRO would like to be informed as soon as possible so that any changes
can be implemented in the 2017 monitoring year.

If you have any questions or comments regarding these submissions, you may contact me directly.

Respectfully,

Marina Moore
Sr. Environment Coordinator, CRO

Cc: Marc Symbaluk - Teck


Teck Coal Ltd.
Cardinal River Operations

Cheviot Mine
Groundwater Monitoring Plan
(Revised)

Project No. 5-256-3


March 2017

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. 2404 – 96 Street Phone: 435-1154


Applied Earth Sciences, Engineering & Materials Testing Edmonton, Alberta Fax: 435-2066
Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0 Introduction........................................................................................................... 1
2.0 Background Information ....................................................................................... 2
2.1 Overview ........................................................................................................... 2
2.2 Data Sources .................................................................................................... 2
2.3 Topographic Setting.......................................................................................... 3
2.4 Geological Setting............................................................................................. 3
2.4.1 Bedrock Geology ....................................................................................... 3
2.4.2 Surficial Geology........................................................................................ 6
2.5 Hydrogeological Setting .................................................................................... 6
2.5.1 Aquifer Testing........................................................................................... 7
2.5.2 Pre-operational Groundwater Quality ........................................................ 8
3.0 Potential Hydrogeological Impacts ..................................................................... 10
4.0 Groundwater Monitoring System ........................................................................ 12
5.0 Review of Groundwater Quality Sampling .......................................................... 16
6.0 Groundwater Response Plan.............................................................................. 17
7.0 Sampling Schedule............................................................................................. 18
8.0 Closure ............................................................................................................... 20

Appendix A. Figures
Appendix B. Groundwater Sampling Protocol

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

List of Table

Table I. Summary of Pre-operational Water Quality Testing (wells/piezometers) ........... 9


Table II. Well and Piezometers Installed - Cheviot Mine ............................................... 13
Table III. Previously Recommended Monitoring Wells to be Installed ........................... 15
Table IV. 2015 Sampling Results for 2014 wells (Backfill) ............................................ 16
Table V. 2016 Sampling Results for 2015 wells (External Waste Dump/Settling Ponds)
...................................................................................................................................... 17
Table VI. Sampling Schedule ........................................................................................ 19

List of Figures (Appendix A)

Figure 6.6-1 Revised - Cheviot Groundwater Monitoring Program


Figure 2 SIR Q1 Dump Licence - Location of Cross-Sections
Figure 3 SIR Q1 Dump Licence - Geological Cross Section 144+75
Figure 4 SIR Q1 Dump Licence - Geological Cross Section 143+25
Figure 5 SIR Q1 Dump Licence - Geological Cross Section 141+75
Figure 6 SIR Q1 Dump Licence - Geological Cross Section 140+25
Figure 7 SIR Q1 Dump Licence - Geological Cross Section 138+75
Figure 8 SIR Q1 Dump Licence - Geological Cross Section 137+25
Figure SIR 22(c) Hydrogeology and Groundwater Quality

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

1.0 Introduction

Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations is operating the Cheviot Mine Project in the
Cadomin-Luscar coal field of west-central Alberta. The Cheviot Mine Project began
producing coal in 2004 from the Cheviot-Thornton Creek area and extended into the
Prospect Creek area in 2008. Additional mine development is currently underway in the
McLeod-Harris area.

Typically, the deposits overlying the coal zones are stripped and the coal is removed
and transported by truck to the processing plant at the Luscar Mine. Waste rock
materials are deposited in designated areas outside of the pits and/or back into
previously mined areas.

The open pit mines themselves dewater the surrounding area to some extent and,
where necessary, dewatering wells are installed to control seepage into the pit areas.
Water collected from the dewatering wells is directly discharged into the surface water
system. Groundwater seepage that takes place into the pits, as well as
precipitation/snowmelt in the pits is collected and pumped into settling ponds where it is
treated before discharge into the surface water system.

An updated groundwater monitoring plan is required by Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)


as part of Cardinal River Coals Ltd.’s Approval (No. 46972-01-02) under the
Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. Omni-McCann Consultants Ltd.
(OMCL) was retained by Teck Coal Ltd. to review the hydrogeological information
available and develop the revised plan.

The following report outlines the data reviewed, describes the hydrogeological regime at
the Cheviot Mine Project area and provides recommendations for the development of a
groundwater monitoring system.

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

2.0 Background Information

2.1 Overview

Coal mining has been on-going in the general area for nearly a century, initially as
underground workings and, in the past several decades, as open pit developments.
Mining inevitably has environmental consequences and “best practice” policies to deal
with these consequences change over time as information is gathered and
understanding increases. In the past, much of the focus regarding environmental impact
was on the surface water and little is known about the groundwater regime or impacts to
this regime. In 2011, a Groundwater Monitoring Plan was proposed for the Cheviot Mine
and the current document addresses the revision/updating of that Plan.

2.2 Data Sources

The following descriptions of the topographical, geological and hydrogeological setting


of the Cheviot Mine area are derived from existing documents including:
□ Piteau Engineering Ltd., December 1995. Environmental Impact Assessment;
Groundwater. Cheviot Mine Project.
□ Piteau Engineering Ltd., December 1995. Hydrogeological Conditions in the Cheviot
Mine Project Area. Volume I: Text, Figures and Tables.
□ Piteau Engineering Ltd., September 1997. Groundwater Sampling Program in the
Cheviot Mine Project Area (1997).
□ Piteau Engineering Ltd., April 1998. Aquifer Testing Program. Cheviot Underground
Workings.
□ Elk Valley Coal Corporation, May 2006. Prospect Pit Development, Mine Licence
and EPEA Application, Elk Valley Coal Corporation, Cardinal River Operations,
Hinton, Alberta. Volume 1, Sections 1.0 – 11.0, Appendices A – E.
□ Matrix Solutions Inc., January 2010.Teck Coal Limited, Cardinal River Operations.
McLeod-Harris Development, Surface Water Mining Plan.
□ Piteau Associates Engineering Ltd., January 2010. Teck Coal Ltd., Cardinal River
Operations. Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Assessment for the Open Pit
Slopes in the McLeod-Harris Mining Block.
□ Piteau Associates Engineering Ltd., January 2010. Teck Coal Ltd., Cardinal River
Operations. Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Assessment for External Waste
Rock Dumps in the McLeod-Harris Mining Block.

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

□ SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc., December 2010. Selenium Geochemistry and Water
Quality Predictions. Phase 3 – Implementation, 2010 Status Report Cardinal River
Operations, Draft.
□ Omni-McCann Consultants Ltd., April 2011. Cheviot Mine Groundwater Monitoring
Plan.
□ BGC Engineering Inc., March 2014. 2013 Annual Groundwater Monitoring Summary
Report, Cardinal River Operations.
□ Teck Coal Ltd., March 2015. Groundwater Monitoring Summary Report, Cardinal
River Operations.
□ Teck Coal Ltd., March 2016. Groundwater Monitoring Summary Report, Cardinal
River Operations.

2.3 Topographic Setting

The Cheviot Mine is situated in the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains. The area is
characterized by well-developed, northwest-southeast striking, steep sided valleys and
ridges which are geologically controlled.

The McLeod River system drains the study area. Prospect Creek, Cheviot Creek and
Thornton Creek drain into the McLeod River from the southwest. These creeks are
generally narrower mountain streams with steeper gradients. Harris Creek drains into
the McLeod River from the east. A number of narrow, higher-velocity mountain creeks
drain into Harris Creek, but the Harris Creek valley itself is somewhat broader with
shallower floor gradients than Cheviot, Prospect or Thornton Creeks. The McLeod River
generally flows southeast to northwest through the Cheviot Mine area. Pre-operational
watersheds in the mining area are shown on Figure 6.6-1 Revised (Appendix A).

2.4 Geological Setting

2.4.1 Bedrock Geology

The Cheviot Mine area is underlain by the Lower Cretaceous Luscar Group and
bounded by the McConnell Thrust Fault to the southwest and the Nikanassin Thrust
Fault to the northeast. The Cheviot Mine is situated on the fault block between these
two major thrust faults. This fault block is tilted to the southeast and contains
southeasterly plunging folds together numerous smaller faults in places.

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

According to Piteau (2010), there are significant differences between the structural
geology in the McLeod – Harris area as compared to the Cheviot Creek and Prospect
Creek mining areas. The Cheviot Creek and Prospect Creek mine areas are situated
along simple monoclinal limbs that dip to the south. The McLeod – Harris mine area is
located in a more complex geological setting “characterized by a series of synclines and
anticlines that have been repeated vertically along southward dipping thrust faults”.

The uppermost bedrock in the Cheviot Mine area is the Luscar Group as shown below.

Stratigraphic Units (from Piteau, 1995)

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

The stratigraphic units which comprise the Luscar Group are briefly described as
follows:
Mountain Park Member. The Mountain Park Member of the Gates Formation is
comprised of interbedded sandstone, siltstone and shale with traces of coal. Within the
Cheviot Creek pit area, a 5 -10 m thick sandstone unit has been documented at the
base of this member.

Grande Cache Member. The Grande Cache Member of the Gates Formation is
characterized by thinly interbedded sandstone, siltstone, shale and coal through the
upper portions with the thicker (up to 10 m) Jewel Coal seam occurring at the base.

Torrens Member. The Torrens Member of the Gates Formation is 30-40 m thick and is
comprised predominantly of clean, hard sandstone. This member immediately underlies
the Jewel Coal seam.

Moosebar Formation. The marine Moosebar Formation underlies the Gates Formation
and is reportedly 90-110 m thick. It is comprised predominantly of brownish-grey silty
shale with occasional thin sandstone beds and coal traces. Based on work in progress
by SRK Consulting (2010), it appears that the Moosebar Formation contains and
potentially releases higher concentrations of selenium than other units in the Luscar
Group.

Gladstone Formation. The Gladstone Formation underlies the Moosebar Formation


and is reported to be 110 m thick in the Cheviot Mine area. This Formation consists of
hard sandstone deposits interbedded with recessive weathering siltstone and shale
deposits.

Cadomin Formation. The Cadomin Formation is at the base of the Luscar Group and
consists of a variably thick (5 – 20 m) conglomerate.

A series of geological cross-sections and a map showing the location of the cross-
sections are provided in Appendix A.

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

2.4.2 Surficial Geology

Piteau (2010) carried out an assessment of the surficial geology in/around the proposed
external waste dumps in the McLeod – Harris area. Surficial units recognized by Piteau
are:
□ Organic soils; veneer and up to ~1m thick, muskeg/peat in valley floors and near
streams, in places.
□ Colluvium; veneer to blanket, silty sandy gravel, on slopes and in aprons at base of
slopes.
□ Fluvial deposits; sand and gravel with some silt and clay in floodplain areas and in
terraces flanking the McLeod River and, possibly, along Harris Creek. Test drilling
programs have identified sand and/or gravel deposits in these area.
□ Moraine deposits; veneer to thick glacial till blanket.
□ Waste rock; localized near the southwest corner of the proposed McLeod Pit.
Former waste rock dump includes sand and gravel, waste rock and coal reject
materials.

Surficial deposits appear to vary in thickness and lithology, depending primarily on


elevation. Upland areas have little to no cover over bedrock while thicker (mostly 4 – 6
m) deposits of glacial till and/or fluvial sand and gravel are present near the base of the
valleys. Figure SIR 22(c) (Appendix A) outlines locations in the McLeod-Harris area
where possible sand/gravel aquifers may be located.

2.5 Hydrogeological Setting

The Cheviot Mine lease area is relatively large and data limitations restrict full
description of the hydrogeology in any of the mining areas in detail. Generally,
groundwater movement will be from the uplands to the valley floors and then parallel to
the valley floor gradient as part of a base flow system. Recharge gradients are expected
in the uplands with discharge gradients in the lower sideslopes / valley floor areas.
Springs and flowing wells are common in the lower lying areas in this type of flow
system.

Aquifers in the area consist of:


□ Surficial gravel deposits. Gravel deposits are expected and have been identified
within the floodplain of the various creeks and rivers in the area. The highest

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

hydraulic conductivity values documented in the area occur in these deposits. If


present in thicker and coarser textured sequences, these units would have the ability
to transmit significant quantities of water.
□ Sandstone and/or coal units. Sandstone deposits are common in the Gates and
Gladstone Formations and less so in the Moosebar Formation. A review of the 1994
test hole logs suggests that most of the water-bearing units encountered were
sandstones although not every sandstone bed was water-bearing. Hydraulic
conductivity values for sandstone units range from 1 x 10-8 m/s to greater than 2 x
10-5 m/s suggesting that fracturing has a significant effect on the ability of sandstone
units to transmit water. Coal units, and particularly the thicker Jewel Coal seam, are
also generally reported to be water-bearing on the drilling logs. The highest yields
(up to 330 m3/day; 50 igpm) from bedrock aquifers reported during the drilling
program were from the Jewel Coal seam and underlying Torrens Member sandstone
(Footwall Sandstone).
□ Fractured bedrock units. The extensive fold and fault zones that exist in the
Cheviot Mine area are associated with fracturing. Piteau (2010) describes a more
open fracture system oriented perpendicular to the strike of the bedrock layers. It is
noted that fracturing can occur in all bedrock units, including siltstone and shale
deposits. Although less common, hydraulic conductivity values as high as 1 x 10-6
m/s have also been documented from fractured shale units in the mine area.
□ Underground workings. Although not strictly an aquifer in the hydrogeological
sense, there is an extensive area that was previously mined beneath the south edge
of the present day Cheviot Creek and McLeod-Harris Creek areas. The underground
workings provide an extensive drainage system and, in that sense, act as an
“aquifer”. The workings are a significant feature in the local groundwater regime.
□ Waste rock backfill. More extensive, coarser zones in the saturated pit backfill
may also be capable of transmitting significant quantities of water and, like the
underground workings, may function as localised, anthropogenic “aquifers” after
water level recovery has taken place.

2.5.1 Aquifer Testing

Four aquifer tests are available for the Cheviot Mine area. For clarity, the tests have
been numbered 1 through 4 and are discussed below.

□ Aquifer Test 1 was carried out by Piteau in August 1995 in the Harris Creek area.
During the test, WW #1 was pumped for 9670 minutes (6.7 days) at rates varying
from 1296 m3/day to 922 m3/day. Water levels were measured in the pumped well
and 8 observation wells during the test. No log has been found for WW #1; however,
it is believed that the well was completed open hole from surface to 96 m bgl. This
likely means that the well was open to the Jewel Coal seam and the Footwall
Sandstone and bottomed in the interbedded sandstones near the base of the Gates
Formation. The test is difficult to interpret because of the varying pumping rates and

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

the open hole completion. The initial transmissivity observed during the test was
about 32 m2/day. However, as the upper water-bearing units in the test well were
dewatered, the transmissivity declined to about 7 m2/day. Of the 8 observation wells
measured during the test, only one located 40 m away responded to pumping in any
significant way in spite of the large amount of water (6400 m3) withdrawn. It is noted
that MW 94-7B located 320 m away from WW#1 and also completed at the
Jewel/Footwall Sandstone contact did not respond to pumping. Assuming the
transmissivity is 32 m2/day and the storage coefficient is 5 x 10-5 (Piteau, 1995),
approximately 11 m of drawdown should have been generated at 94-7B during the
test. The absence of any drawdown suggests that the bulk hydraulic conductivity is
strongly controlled by fracturing.
□ Aquifer Test 2 was carried out by Piteau in August 1995 in the Cheviot Creek area.
During the test, WW #2 was pumped for 7260 minutes (5 days) at 37.7 m3/day.
Water levels were measured in the pumped well and 7 observation wells. Although
no logs are available for any of these 8 wells, they were completed open hole from
surface to depths up to 175 m bgl. Indications of dewatering are also evident
throughout this test. The initial transmissivity was about 0.9 m2/day, which declined
to 0.5 m2/day after about 100 minutes. In addition, recovery water levels plot below
the drawdown on the semi-log plot of the test and full recovery was neither achieved
nor projected. Piteau reported that the storage coefficient derived from the
observation well data was in the order of 1 x 10-4.
□ Aquifer Test 3 was conducted by Piteau in 1998 in the Thornton Creek area. The
test well (TW97-1CC) was completed with slotted casing from 64-144 m bgl in the
bedrock and open hole from 150-164 m bgl in the underground workings. Four
piezometers were also installed to monitor water levels within the various coal
horizons during the test. Test data has not been provided, however, the Piteau
report (1998) indicates that the well was pumped at 3600 m3/day for 4 days and then
5760 m3/day for an additional 17 days with no visible barrier or recharge boundaries
evident. The transmissivity of the underground workings was estimated to be 129
m2/day with a storage coefficient of about 1 x 10-2. Drawdown was reported in all of
the observation wells.
□ Aquifer Test 4 was carried out by Ashburn Drilling in 2005 with a well drilled to
supply water to the washroom facilities. The well is completed with slotted casing
from 33.5 – 76.2 m bgl in an interbedded sandstone/shale sequence. It was pumped
at 218 m3/day for 1440 minutes (1 day) and the transmissivity from this test is
approximately 60 m2/day.

2.5.2 Pre-operational Groundwater Quality

Pre-operational water quality testing was carried out between 1994 and 1997 by Piteau
(Table I). Generally, groundwater in this regime is relatively fresh with total dissolved

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

solids in the range of 300-500 mg/L. At several locations, however, groundwater in


deeper piezometers contains total dissolved solids in the order of 700 mg/L.

Bicarbonate (HCO3) is the major anion present at all locations with very minor
concentrations of chloride (Cl) and sulphate (SO4). HCO3 is generally present in
concentrations in the order of 300-500 mg/L. In some deeper piezometers, however,
HCO3 concentrations are in the order of 750-850 mg/L.

In the gravel deposits and most of the shallow bedrock units, calcium (Ca) and
magnesium (Mg) are the major cations. In some bedrock piezometers, and particularly
at depth, sodium (Na) is the major cation.

During the pre-operational groundwater sampling program, dissolved metals were also
sampled. Piezometers completed in gravel contain very small amounts of dissolved
metals.

In the bedrock, iron and manganese are present in concentrations over the Canadian
Drinking Water Quality Guidelines (CDWQG) in some piezometers. Relatively high
barium concentrations have been documented in a number of piezometers completed in
sandstone units. Barium can be mobilized in low sulphate environments such as that
present in this area. Strontium is also present in relatively high concentrations.
Significant dissolved selenium concentrations were not documented in the groundwater
system by the pre-operational water quality sampling program.

In the underground workings, iron, manganese, barium and strontium were present in
concentrations similar to water-bearing zones in the bedrock deposits, which they drain.

Table I. Summary of Pre-operational Water Quality Testing (wells/piezometers)1


Surficial Deposits Bedrock
Parameter Unit CDWQG
Min Max Comments Min Max Comments
Calcium mg/L 32 60 n=12 6 99 n=68
Magnesium mg/L 12 25 n=12 1 57 n=68
Sodium mg/L 200 2 100 n=12 3 320 n=68
Chloride mg/L 250 <0.5 3 n=12 <0.5 4 n=67

1
Piteau Engineering Ltd., 1997. Groundwater Sampling Program in the Cheviot Mine Project Area (1997).
Summary of selected parameters; see report for additional information.

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

Surficial Deposits Bedrock


Parameter Unit CDWQG
Min Max Comments Min Max Comments
n=12
Bicarbonate mg/L 53 533 Low is 201 851 n=67
anomalous
Sulphate mg/L 500 1 12 n=12 <0.1 51 n=67
n=12
Total Dissolved
mg/L 500 84 463 Low is 190 769 n=67
Solids
anomalous
Barium (D) mg/L 1 0.22 0.9 n=9 <0.01 3.37 n=81
Iron (D) mg/L 0.3 <0.01 0.1 n=9 <0.01 3.47 n=81
Manganese (D) mg/L 0.05 0.007 0.059 n=9 <0.001 0.752 n=81
Selenium (D) mg/L 0.05 <0.0002 <0.0002 n=3 <0.0002 0.0102 n=23
Strontium (D) mg/L 0.116 0.308 n=6 <0.002 4.69 n=66
Zinc (D) mg/L 5 0.003 0.13 n=9 <0.001 1.77 n=81

3.0 Potential Hydrogeological Impacts

All mining operations disrupt geological materials and inevitably result in changes to the
groundwater regime. Both surficial and bedrock aquifers will be removed and the mine
area landscape will be altered. Waste rock materials left over from the mining
operations will be placed in the pits in some locations and outside of the pits in rock
dumps in other areas. Surface water drainage systems will also be altered in places.
Some of the changes will likely be temporary while others are expected to be
permanent and not all of the potential changes are foreseeable.

During the operational mining period, groundwater dewatering will take place, passively
through drainage into the pits and more actively through the pumping of dewatering
wells. This will result in temporarily lower groundwater levels in the mining area(s).
Once dewatering stops, however, groundwater levels in the undisturbed perimeter
areas are expected to recover to pre-mining conditions within 1-2 years based on the
water level data recorded to date. Groundwater dewatering also has a potential impact
on the surface water regime since the dewatering wells are discharged directly into the
surface water system. Groundwater seepage into the active pits is collected and routed
through a settling pond before being discharged into the surface water system.

External rock dumps are also expected to have an impact on the groundwater regime.
The waste rock will have a higher porosity and a higher hydraulic conductivity than the
undisturbed materials. In this case, infiltration rates will be higher. Toe seeps can and

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

have developed along the base of the dumps, particularly where the dump has been
developed over native materials with a low hydraulic conductivity. In cross valley fill
areas, where the external dump has been located over more permeable materials such
as gravel and/or fractured bedrock, seepage from the dump into the groundwater
system might be expected. In this case, groundwater quality changes may take place,
depending on the quality of water seeping from the dump(s). Longer term monitoring of
groundwater in the dumps, seeps and underlying groundwater system is required to
establish the potential impacts of the external waste rock dumps.

Mined out areas will be backfilled with waste rock at most locations with end pit lakes
allowed to develop in places. The infilled materials will have different hydrogeological
parameters than the material removed. An overall increase in hydraulic conductivity is
generally expected. As a result, there will be hydrogeological changes in these areas
but the changes are likely to be primarily restricted to the infilled pits. Some base flow
changes may also occur depending on the re-established topography. Hydrochemical
changes are likely inevitable to some extent, but are difficult to completely predict.

In the course of developing a groundwater monitoring system for the Cheviot Mine,
information for the Luscar Mine was reviewed to better understand potential impacts.
Although groundwater monitoring information at the Luscar Mine is limited, the following
observations can be made, which influence both the monitoring well locations and water
quality parameters to be monitored at the Cheviot Mine:
□ Most significant water quality impacts at the Luscar Mine appear to be those at the
toe of external rock dumps, and particularly if/where the rock dumps straddle a pre-
development creek bed (i.e. cross-valley fill). Although the current policy is to reduce
external rock dumps if/where possible, not all external dumps can be eliminated. Key
downgradient monitoring locations will focus on the expected seepage areas from
the rock dumps to better understand the interaction between groundwater and
surface water at these locations.
□ Nearly all major ions are elevated in the streams downgradient of the rock dumps.
Sulphate and sodium concentrations, in particular, appear to be impacted but
bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium concentrations are also elevated at some
locations. As a result, total dissolved solids (TDS) can be significantly higher at
downgradient locations. TDS and major ions monitoring will be needed to better
understand changes in the groundwater regime.
□ There is the potential for nitrogen parameters to be elevated as a result of blasting
operations. Monitoring of various nitrogen parameters suggests that, where present,

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Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

nitrogen is in the form of nitrate, which can be relatively mobile and persistent in
groundwater systems. Nitrogen monitoring will focus primarily on nitrate-nitrogen.
□ Selenium has been identified in relatively high concentrations in downgradient
locations in surface water systems. It is not naturally present, however, in the
groundwater system and may not persist if introduced into the groundwater system
by mining operations because of the lack of oxygen, particularly at depth, in the
groundwater regime. Selenium should, however, be monitored in the shallow, water
table zone until additional data has been gathered in this regard. Other metals
(barium, strontium, iron, manganese) have also been documented in relatively high
concentrations in the groundwater system.

4.0 Groundwater Monitoring System

Groundwater monitoring piezometers were installed by Piteau as part of the


Environmental Impact Assessment conducted in 1994. Additional piezometers were
installed by Piteau in 1997/1998 in the Thornton Creek area as part of the aquifer
testing program carried out in the underground workings. In addition to the piezometers,
several water wells have been installed in the area for either dewatering or water supply
purposes. In 2011, OMCL reviewed the groundwater monitoring program for the Cheviot
Mine and made a number of recommendations regarding additions to the monitoring
network. The additional monitoring wells were to be installed in areas where the
groundwater regime was considered to be the most vulnerable to impacts from mining
operations (see Section 3.0). Most of the recommended wells have since been
installed.

Table II lists the known wells/piezometers installed in the Cheviot Creek, Thornton
Creek, Prospect Creek and Harris Creek areas; highlighted wells are part of the current
monitoring system. Table III lists those monitoring wells recommended in the previous
monitoring plan, which have yet to be installed. Locations of the existing and
recommended monitoring wells are shown on the Figure 6.6-1 Revised and Figure SIR
22(c) in Appendix A.

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. Page 12


Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

Table II. Well and Piezometers Installed - Cheviot Mine


Ground Completion
Well/ Current Water Level Water Quality
Elevation Interval Lithology 2 Area Comments
Piezometer Status Data 3 Information
(m amsl) (m bgl)
1994-1997; 1994-1997;
94-01A 1796.3 20.9 26.5 sandstone destroyed McLeod-Harris
2013 2012-2014
coal/ 1994-1997; 1994-1997;
94-01B 1796.3 63.6 - 70.0 destroyed McLeod-Harris
sandstone 2013 2012-2014
coal/ 1994-1997 1994-1997
94-02A 1776.6 29.8 - 33.8 destroyed McLeod
sandstone 2004-2009 2008
1994-1997; 1994-1997;
94-03A 1797.1 12.3 - 16.9 gravel destroyed Prospect Creek
2010 2008-2011
1994-1997; 1994-1997;
94-03B 1797.1 55.2 - 60.8 sandstone destroyed Prospect Creek
2009-2011 2008-2011
1994-1997; 1994-1997;
94-04A 1814.4 34.6 - 38.5 sandstone destroyed Prospect Creek
2009 2008-2010
coal/ 1994-1997; 1994-1997;
94-04B 1814.4 57.5 - 61.9 destroyed Prospect Creek
sandstone 2009 2008-2010
coal/
94-05A 1854.4 28.6 - 32.8 destroyed 1994-1997 1994-1997
sandstone
coal/
94-06A 1866.2 95.1 - 99.4 destroyed 1994-1996 1994-1996 McLeod-Harris
siltstone
1994-1997; 1994-1997;
94-07A 1787.5 3.6 - 6.9 gravel destroyed McLeod-Harris
2012-2013 2013
coal/ 1994-1997; 1994-1997;
94-07B 1787.5 40.6 - 44.5 destroyed McLeod-Harris
sandstone 2012-2013 2013
1994-1997 1994-1997 WL monitoring only if
94-08A 1795.8 28.5 - 33.6 sandstone active Cheviot
2004-2015 2005-2014 dewatering in Cheviot mine
1994-1997 1994-1997 area; currently measured with
94-08B 1794.3 55.5 - 59.5 sandstone active Cheviot pressure transducer
2004-2015 2005-2014

14-02 1842.1 68.9-71.9 waste rock active 2015- 2015- Prospect Creek Installed in Pit PC4

2
Data regarding current status supplied by Teck Coal, March 2017.
3
Water levels in a number of wells are currently measured using pressure transducers.

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. Page 13


Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

Ground Completion
Well/ Current Water Level Water Quality
Elevation Interval Lithology 2 Area Comments
Piezometer Status Data 3 Information
(m amsl) (m bgl)
Installed in Pit CC1; water
14-03 1788.6 44.6-47.6 waste rock active 2014- 2014- Cheviot levels measured using
pressure transducer

15-01 1786.6 36.0-39.0 waste rock active n/a n/a Cheviot Installed in Pit CC1X

Floodplain of McLeod River -


15-02 1772.9 6.1-10.67 base of till active n/a 2015 McLeod
near Cemetery Pond
Floodplain of McLeod River -
15-03 1770.0 9.45-11.0 gravel active n/a 2015 McLeod between external waste dump
and river
Floodplain of McLeod River -
15-04 1726.3 2.9-4.4 base of till active n/a 2015 Cheviot downgradient of Cheviot
settling pond
CRO-CC3- 94.2 - 104;
1878.6 waste rock active unknown unknown Cheviot Research well
12-01A 129 - 132
CRO-CC3-
1878.5 46.6-49.6 waste rock active unknown unknown Cheviot Research well
12-01B
old mine
OW-1 1794.2 157 - 169 destroyed Cheviot
workings

OBW2 destroyed McLeod- Harris

old mine 1998


PZ 3 1785.9 59 - 65 destroyed no Cheviot
workings 2005-2006
old mine 1998 Water levels measured by
PZ K 1798.6 92 - 107 active no Cheviot
workings 2005-present pressure transducer
old mine 1998
PZ M 1818 105 - 116 active no Cheviot
workings 2005-present
1998
PZ T unknown unknown unknown active no Cheviot
2005-present
T97-1CC bedrock/old
1792.3 64 - 164 not in use 2004-2009 2004-2008 dewatering well dewatering well
(Deep Well) mine workings

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. Page 14


Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

Ground Completion
Well/ Current Water Level Water Quality
Elevation Interval Lithology 2 Area Comments
Piezometer Status Data 3 Information
(m amsl) (m bgl)
standby well; water levels
East Well bedrock/old
1794.5 unknown stand by 2008-present 2008 standby well measured by pressure
(THEW) mine workings
transducer
West Well bedrock/old dewatering 2008; 2008;
1792.2 unknown Cheviot dewatering well
(THWW) mine workings well 2011-present 2011-present
TH-18 bedrock/old dewatering 2008; 2008;
1785.9 unknown Cheviot dewatering well
(Deep Well) mine workings well 2011-present 2011-present
bedrock/old 2008; 2008;
South Well 1794.5 unknown standby well Cheviot
mine workings 2012-2013 2012-2013
interbedded
2005 water
1759.0 33.5 - 76.2 sandstone/ abandoned no no 1440 min aquifer test with well
well
shale
interbedded
2006 water licenced water supply for washroom
1759.0 30.5 - 36.6 sandstone/ n/a n/a Cheviot
well well facilities
shale

Wells that are part of the recommended groundwater monitoring system.


Wells for which water level or water quality data is collected as part of a dewatering program(s) or for water supply purposes.

Table III. Previously Recommended Monitoring Wells to be Installed


Well/ Water Level Water Quality
Lithology Area Comments
Piezometer Monitoring Monitoring

Originally proposed for area downgradient of settling pond but no


XX Prospect Creek
longer required due to rerouting of drainage.
XX backfill Bi-annual Bi-annual Prospect Creek Replacement for 14-02 when re-grading complete.
McLeod River To provide background (upgradient) information on shallow
XX Bi-annual Bi-annual McLeod
floodplain - gravel groundwater regime in the McLeod River floodplain.
McLeod River
XX Bi-annual Bi-annual Harris Downgradient of settling pond and external rock dump.
floodplain - gravel

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. Page 15


Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

5.0 Review of Groundwater Quality Sampling

A number of the recommended monitoring wells were installed in 2014 and 2015. As a
result, there is limited data available at this time (March 2017). However, data from the
2014/2015 wells and the historical data were reviewed and are the basis of the following
comments:
□ Dewatering: during the active mining stage, dewatering takes place passively
(through the pits) and actively (through dewatering wells). On the south side of the
Cheviot - Thornton pits dewatering wells were installed in the old, underground
workings. Water from these dewatering wells is discharged into Thornton Creek. The
discharged water has significantly higher concentrations of sodium, bicarbonate, and
selenium than the receiving waters and has resulted in some water quality impacts
in Thornton Creek. As long as dewatering continues in this area, water quality
testing and water level monitoring will be required in the dewatering wells (THWW,
TH18) and water level monitoring in Nest 94-08.
□ Backfilled Pits: Much of the backfill from the mining operation is placed back in the
mined out pits with end lakes allowed to develop on the downgradient end of the
pits. In 2014/2015, three monitoring wells were installed in the backfill, one (14-02) in
Prospect Creek Pit PC4, one (14-03) in Cheviot Creek Pit CC1, and one (15-01) in
Cheviot Creek Pit CC1X. To date, sampling from the 2014 wells suggest different
types of impacts at each location (Table IV). In addition, an increasing trend may be
present for some parameters at each location. The wells installed in the backfill
monitor water quality internal to the Cheviot Mine and provide information as to
possible impacts in the upper regions of the re-establishing groundwater flow
system(s). At this time it is not completely understood how / if the water quality of the
backfill will impact the lower regions of the groundwater flow system and particularly
in those areas where groundwater discharges into the surface water system.

Table IV. 2015 Sampling Results for 2014 wells (Backfill)


CCME
Guideline 14-02 14-03
Parameter Unit CDWQG
(Freshwater (68.9-71.9 m bgl) (44.6-47.6 m bgl)
Aquatic)
Total Dissolved Solids mg/L 500 Not sampled 1120-1270
Sulphate mg/L 500 162-261 85-94
Calcium mg/L 65-127 3-14
Magnesium mg/L 27-59 1.3-1.6
Nitrate (as N) mg/L 3 10 28-70 0.8-4.4
Sodium mg/L 200 Not sampled 422-581
Bicarbonate mg/L Not sampled 1010-1090
Selenium mg/L 0.001 0.05 0.003-0.04 1.9-3.4

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. Page 16


Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

□ External Waste Dumps and Settling Ponds: In 2015, three monitoring wells were
installed in the shallow surficial deposits beneath the floodplain of McLeod River,
downgradient of external waste dumps and/or settling ponds. 15-02 and 15-03 are in
the McLeod mining area and 15-04 is located downgradient of the Cheviot Creek
settling pond. One set of samples was collected from these wells in 2016. Based on
this sample set,15-02 at the toe of the external McLeod rock dump appears to have
been the most affected by mining operations (Table V) with some major ions (Ca,
Mg, SO4, Na, NO3) elevated as well as some dissolved metals (B, Se, Sr). Additional
data will be required to confirm the 2016 results. If the 2016 test results for 15-02 are
confirmed, the Groundwater Response Plan should be implemented.

Table V. 2016 Sampling Results for 2015 wells (External Waste Dump/Settling
Ponds)
CCME
Guideline
Parameter Unit CDWQG 15-02 15-03 15-04
(Freshwater
Aquatic)
Total Dissolved Solids mg/L 500 2070 389 526
Sulphate mg/L 500 1020 22.9 144
Calcium mg/L 343 84.3 103
Magnesium mg/L 98.9 37.3 38.5
Nitrate (as N) mg/L 3 10 29.9 0.075 0.886
Sodium mg/L 200 73.1 2.4 31.7
Bicarbonate mg/L 372 425 365
Selenium mg/L 0.001 0.05 0.103 0.0004 0.00407

In summary, the pumping of groundwater from the dewatering wells into Thornton Creek
has resulted in elevated total dissolved solids, sodium, bicarbonate, and selenium
concentrations in the Creek downgradient of the discharge. In the upper regions of the
groundwater regime, groundwater levels are re-establishing themselves. During this
process there are obvious water quality impacts but for different parameters depending
on the parent material backfilled and quantity of explosives used. Groundwater exiting
the mined areas also appears to be variably impacted but, at some locations, selenium
and/or nitrate are over the CCME guideline for freshwater aquatic environments.

6.0 Groundwater Response Plan

Given the level of disruption to the hydrogeological system at the Cheviot Mine,
changes to the groundwater regime are inevitable and much of the monitoring system is
designed to better understand these changes and their potential to impact the
environment, particularly as the groundwater system discharges into the surface water

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. Page 17


Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

system along the McLeod River and its tributaries. As a result, there are some
monitoring wells in the backfill in the upper reaches of the groundwater flow system
where water quality will be monitored but to which the CCME guidelines for freshwater
aquatic environments will not be applied. Other monitoring points are located between
possible contaminant sources such as external rock dumps or settling ponds and the
McLeod River. At these locations, the CCME guidelines will be applied. Should the
CCME guideline for freshwater aquatic environments be exceeded in one or more of
these wells, the following groundwater response plan will be followed:

Step 1. Confirm. The well(s) should be re-sampled to confirm the test result.
Step 2. Investigate. An investigation should be carried out to identify the source of
the contaminant and the extent of the contaminant plume (as per Alberta
Tier 1 and 2 Groundwater Remediation Guidelines). This may involve the
drilling and installation of additional monitoring wells, measuring water
levels, the collection of samples, hydraulic conductivity testing, etc. in
order to better understand groundwater movement in the area. Results of
the program should be evaluated by a qualified hydrogeologist.
Step 3. Manage / mitigate. Management actions and mitigation strategies would
be developed and implemented depending of the findings of the
investigation.

7.0 Sampling Schedule

The following schedule is recommended for the Cheviot Mine groundwater monitoring
system4. The placement of the wells, sampling schedule and parameters monitored
should be reviewed in 3-5 years once there is a sufficient database to better evaluate
the re-establishing groundwater regime. The sampling protocol to be followed is
provided in Appendix B.

4
There are other wells which are monitored for water levels that are not included in Table VI either
because the monitoring is part of a research program or monitoring from the wells is redundant.

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. Page 18


Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

Table VI. Sampling Schedule


Ground Completion Water Water
Well/
Elevation Interval Lithology Level Quality Area Comments
Piezometer
(m amsl) (m bgl)
Bi-
94-08A 1795.8 28.5 - 33.6 sandstone Cheviot WL monitoring only if
annual
dewatering in Cheviot
Bi- mine area
94-08B 1794.3 55.5 - 59.5 sandstone Cheviot
annual
Bi- Installed in Pit PC4;
Bi- Prospect
14-02 1842.1 68.9-71.9 waste rock annual to be replaced after
annual Creek
AC re-grading operations
Bi-
Bi-
14-03 1788.6 44.6-47.6 waste rock annual Cheviot Installed in Pit CC1
annual
AC
Bi-
Bi-
15-01 1786.6 36.0-39.0 waste rock annual Cheviot Installed in Pit CC1X
annual
AC
Bi-
Bi- Floodplain of McLeod
15-02 1772.9 6.1-10.67 base of till annual McLeod
annual River
AC
Floodplain of McLeod
Bi-
Bi- River - between
15-03 1770.0 9.45-11.0 gravel annual McLeod
annual external waste dump
AC
and river
Floodplain of McLeod
Bi-
Bi- River - downgradient
15-04 1726.3 2.9-4.4 base of till annual Cheviot
annual of Cheviot settling
AC
pond
McLeod River Bi- Upgradient
Bi-
17- XX5 floodplain; annual McLeod monitoring; McLeod
annual
gravel AC River
McLeod River Bi-
Bi- Downgradient of
17-XX3 floodplain; annual Harris
annual Harris settling pond
gravel AC
Should be monitored
as long as dewatering
Bi- in Cheviot mine
West Well bedrock/old Bi-
1792.2 unknown annual Cheviot continues and for 2
(THWW) mine workings annual
ABC yrs following the end
of dewatering
operations.
Should be monitored
as long as dewatering
Bi- in Cheviot mine
TH18 bedrock/old Bi-
1785.9 unknown annual Cheviot continues and for 2
(Deep Well) mine workings annual
ABC yrs following the end
of dewatering
operations.
A Major ions (Ca, Cl, CO3, HCO3, K, Mg, Na, NO3, NO2, SO4), TDS, pH, EC, T-Alkalinity
B TSS, turbidity
C Dissolved Trace Metals

5
See Figure SIR 22(c) in Appendix A for location.

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. Page 19


Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

8.0 Closure

All information presented herein was provided by and is the property of Teck Coal Ltd.
This report has been prepared solely for the use of Teck Coal Ltd. and neither OMCL
nor its employees nor its sub-consultants assume any liability of any kind to any other
party, in negligence or otherwise, for any representations herein.

Respectfully submitted,
OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD.
APEGA Permit to Practice No. P 5072

Alan McCann, P.Geol., M.Sc.


Director

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD. Page 20


Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

Appendix A. Figures

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD.


I

2150
19

19
50

19 50

50
25
Rg 24 Rg 23 W5M 21

20 7
19

18 75
21 75 19

19

20 2
21

21 25
5

20 50

21 5
00
20 7 50

00

25

5
5
2175 2150

0
25
20 2100 2125

20
18 50

20
25

0
19

20 5

2000
50
18

25
25 20

1975
21

17
00

25
25

00
17
20 00
18 25

75
17

20
20

25
50

0
75 21

18 0
18 19 00 21 0 00
0
19

18 2
25 18 50

5
5
19 7

5
19 2
5
50

20 7
20
9
17
10

00
00

17
11

18

18 7
19
20

75
1825

50
75

75
00

5
18

19
19

20 00
25

18 0
0
19
18

00
25

19
MSL 041321 Admendment
18 50
18 75

75
18 75

18 7
19
50 19 18 25
75 1950

5
17
25

75
18

MSL 041321
18
00

20 0
17 7
94-03A 18
25 5

0
94-04A 18
50
94-03B FH1504 17

17
50

75
94-04B

50

17
17 5 17 7 18
17 0 5 00
0
18 5 00 17
25
19
50 15-04 18 00
Spring 05
19
00 19 7
Grave Flats 94-07A
FH1115
5
18
25
1 6 5 Road WW1 17 75 18
4 94-07B 19 00

18
OBW1 2 00

00
50

19
18

PC4(2)DEEPWELL 50
Harris North 25
75
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19
PC4DEEPWELL FH1118/1578
19

25 19
Spring 06

19 75
1825
19 00
50 OBW2 1950

19
WW2005

50
19
WW2006
14-02 94-05A
18 50 00
18
18 50
20 Harris South

18
25

25
94-01A

18 25
18 50

17 7
CRO-CC3-12-01B

17 50
T 46 94-01B

5
18
19 50
19

75
CRO-CC3-12-01A
25
19
75

20 0
T 45 0 18 50
19
00
1925 19 50 1750

17
18 25 17 5
0

75
20 25 14-03 18 McLeod 17
75
18 5 00
Spring 04
19 50

0
Mining Area 5

19 50
Pit License Amendment 00 18 2
CC3-PIEZO1 18

19 75
8 50
5
20 7 20 50 PIEZO 1 15-03 94-06A 18
75 1

1825
00

18 50
TH-18

1825
20

1850
19
PIEZO 3 OBS Well

18 00
00

1950
19 00 15-02
19 75 18 75
20 00 31 West
32 Well (THWW) TH-18 (Deep Well)
33 34 19 00
20 25 36 35 3
19 25 South Well (THSW) East Well (THEW) FH1076 18 7

2025
5
20 50

20 50
19 25
94-02A 19 0
Proposed MSL & WA Fenceline Amendmen
75
2050

0
20
19 25 PIEZO M 15-01
2125
T97-1CC
2075

0
18 5
21
(Deep 18 75
94-08A 20
19

50 19 00
75
PIEZO K OW-1 Well) 50
75

21 PIEZO T

19
94-08B

50
19 25 Pit License C2010-11
20 2
21

19 00
00

22
00
1875

20 50
18 19 00
50
21
19

00 19
20

50

20 18 00
00

75 75

18 50
20 00

19 5
0 21 00
5
21 2

50

75
1900 5

20
25 20 25 17

20
19 19 7
5 20 00 25 50 2
20 21

LEGEND PROJECT

Active Steel Piezometer Pit License Amendment UPPER HARRIS EXTENSION


Destroyed PVC Piezometer Harris Extension Pit Limit (UHEA)
Dewatering/Water Supply Well McLeod-Harris Approved Development
TITLE PROJECT: 14-00804-00
PVC Piezometer Technical Modification Perimeter
DRAWN BY: CP/JDC
Springs
Flowing Holes
Cheviot Mine Footprint
Pit License C2010-11
CHEVIOT GROUNDWATER MONITORING PROGRAM CHECKED BY: JM, RL
DATE: DEC. 1, 2015
Contour 25m (EOY 2014) Proposed MSL & WA Fenceline Amendment
NOTES FIGURE
Watercourse (EOY 2015) MSL 0041321 Approved Boundary
Existing Watercourse Diversion Mine Permit Boundary
AltaLIS, 2015; BGC ENGINEERING INC., 2013; TECK COAL LTD, 2015
Datum/Projection: UTM NAD 83 Zone 11
0 250 500
Metres
1,000
6.6-1 Revised
I
5 0 19
18

19
19
5 0 2 5 1925 19 197 192
1975 2050 20

5
7

187
5 5 5

0
5
0

19
5

5
1850

2 5

_7
2000

19

5
2000

0
1825

1925
0
9 10 12

_2
14
5 0
1975

19
0

5
3
190 19

0
2

_7
5

14
5

19
1975

2
19

5
1
5
18
R 23 W5M 1950 1975

_2
5

18

14
0

5
00
1800
18

14

_7
18
7 5 5 1950
1800 192 1875

5
8

_2
13
0

5
0
18

1 7
18
7

_7
900
5

13
18
182
Nor 5 0

35
5
5 0
25
1825 th ern

MSL 041321 Amendment


18 25
18 Wa

1
18
ter
Discharge to Div
ers
McLeod River 7 5 ion

MSL 041321
17 2 5
00 17

7 5
18
Harris Settling Pond

17

1775
17 1775 17
5

18
0

1850
0 0

17
0
Phase H8,9

0
5

7
1675
2
18

5
1625m
1650

1775
17
1850

177
2 5
4 3
1825 H2 In-Pit 2 1
17
0 0

5
Disposal Area
1850

1825
1865m 1775
1875

1800
1775
17 1700
Phase H11

1775
5 1700
1850m

1750
0

17
Harris North

2
5
177

5
1825

5
177
18 19

0
1800 0 5 5

0
0 0 0 5

17
5 18 1800
19
7
2
H3 In-Pit

0
18

17

5
19

19
7
0
Disposal Area 0

1825
1800
180 185 19
17

0 2
S2 0 5
05

Grave Flats 185

1775
17

0
7

Road
5

Harris South
Water Directed To
1775

1825

S1
1800

18
Main
1900 Harris Clean
5 0 Water Diversion 19
Phase H10
1750

0 0
182
0

5 1825
5

1880m

1800
17

18
0 0
T 46 175 0
1850

18

2 5
5

T 45
k

1925
2
18

ee

1950 0
175
Cr
00

1800
18

t on

1800
or

19
r

!
R i ve

5
C
Th

0
0
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0
18

Pit License Amendment


McLeo d
7 5

18
17

1875
00

1850
k
ee

2025
Cr 5 0

0
1825

5
18

ie

0
McLeod Pits

19
18

nz
1850

1975
Disposal Area

cKe
1775
1860m

Ma
1825
1775

33 34 2075 35 36
5
177

1800
18

1900
0

7 5
0

17
177

1875
2 5 1875
19
2050

0 0
18 Proposed MSL & WA Fenceline Amendment
1800

1850
0

50
180

18 1900
1875
2 5
18

1925
1850
1875

1900 18
19 7 5
0

5
0
182

1925 0
20

5 0
187 190
1900

Pit License C2010-11


5

LEGEND PROJECT
!
C Active Disposal Area Mine Permit Boundary
De-Watering Well
Contours (EOY 2019)
Active Phase Cross Section Lines UPPER HARRIS EXTENSION
Pit License C2010-11 Proposed Dump License
Watercourse (EOY 2019)
Proposed Powerline
Clean Water Diversion
Existing Powerline TITLE PROJECT: 14-00804-00
Embankment Structure
Harris Extension Pit Limit (UHEA) DRAWN BY: CP/JDC
Pit License Amendment
Haul Roads
McLeod-Harris Approved Development SIR Q1 Dump Licence – Location of Cross-Sections CHECKED BY: JM, RL
Technical Modification Perimeter
Haul Roads (Inactive) DATE: NOV 30, 2015
Cheviot Mine Footprint
Secondary Highway
Proposed MSL & WA Fenceline Amendment NOTES FIGURE
MSL 0041321 Approved Boundary AltaLIS, 2015; MEMS, 2015; TECK COAL LTD, 2015
Datum/Projection: UTM NAD 83 Zone 11
0 250 500
Metres
1,000
2
I
Í
Í ÿ Harris End Pit Lake

3 2
1
4
Harris Dump
Í Harris Pit (North)
Í Ò
H
Í Harris Pit (South)

ó
McLeod Pit
(backfilled)
Ò Ò
Document Path: \\Teckcominco\CGO\Groups\TCGIS\Data\Operations\CRO\Projects\PermitApplication\MXD\SIR_Q22(c).mxd

33 34 35
Í 36

ÿ
LEGEND PROJECT
PVC Piezometer Harris Dump Sand & Gravel Deposits
Piezometer (planned) Surficial Geology Historical Mining (underground) UPPER HARRIS EXTENSION
Watercourses Blackstone Fm Pit and Dump Contours (2020)
Rock Drain Mountain Park Mb Fault
Harris Pond Grande Cache Mb Syncline Trace TITLE PROJECT: 14-00804-00

Potential Sources Jewel Seam DRAWN BY: CB


HYDROGEOLOGY AND GROUNDWATER QUALITY
Íÿ

Anticline

H Harris Service Bay


Torrens Mb
Moosebar Fm Syncline
CHECKED BY:
DATE: DECEMBER 10, 2015
Harris End Pit Lake Gladstone Fm
Òó

Saturated Backfill Cadomin Fm Anticline (Overturned) NOTES FIGURE


Harris Extension Pit Limit (UHEA)
McLeod-Harris Pit Limit (approved)
Nikanassin Fm
Syncline (Overturned)
AltaLIS, 2015; TECK COAL LTD, 2015
Datum/Projection: UTM NAD 83 Zone 11
0 250 500
Metres
1,000
Figure SIR 22(c)
Teck Coal Ltd. – Cardinal River Operations
Project No.: 5-256-3 Cheviot Mine - Groundwater Monitoring Plan (Revised)

Appendix B. Sampling Protocol

OMNI-McCANN CONSULTANTS LTD.


1.0 Sampling Protocol
The following protocol is recommended for the collection of groundwater samples
at the Cheviot mine site.

1.1 Inspection
Prior to the sampling process, an inspection of each monitoring well should be
performed. This inspection should include:

Visual inspection: The bentonite seal around the outside of the casing is to be
inspected to check that settlement has not taken place and that the seal is still
effective in preventing surface water from accessing the well intake. The condition
of the well should also be inspected to ensure that the well stick up height has not
changed due to breakage, and the well has not been damaged in any manner. If a
casing protector is installed, it is also necessary to ensure that the well is properly
locked and no damage to the casing protector is evident.

Measurement of water level: The water level in the well is to be measured with
an electric tape to the nearest 0.01 metre. This measurement is always taken from
the top of the well casing. The height of the well casing and elevation on the ground
surface are recorded prior to the initiation of any groundwater sampling program to
calculate the meaningful water level (i.e. depth below ground surface or elevation
above sea level).

Measurement of well depth: The total depth of the well should be measured in
order to ensure that there are no siltation problems and the well is in proper working
order.

All results and observations are to be recorded in a field book or table indicating the
date and time of inspection.

1.2 Purging
There are a variety of methods that can be used to purge the wells prior to
sampling and the best method will depend on the well depth, water level,
accessibility, permeability of the materials around the intake and the parameters
to be sampled.
Standard practice is to remove 3 volumes of the water stored in the casing to
ensure the collection of a fresh groundwater sample. Water can be removed
using an inertia lift pump (Waterra), a submersible pump or a dedicated bailer.
This method (removal of 3 volumes) works well in relatively permeable materials.
Initially, multiple purges may be required to “develop” the well as turbidity values
can be relatively high. When using this method and particularly if sampling for
trace dissolved metal analysis, care should be taken to avoid drawing the water
level into the intake zone as this will cause some metals (e.g. iron, manganese)
to precipitate and may introduce other metals (e.g. selenium) into the well water.

When sampling for selenium in saturated waste rock backfill, lower permeability
materials and/or where it is critical to avoid lowering the water level significantly,
it will be necessary to use a low-flow bladder pump. In this case, the pump is
best placed in the intake zone about 24 hours before sampling (if feasible) and
the water is pumped through a flow-through cell until field parameters stabilize
prior to sampling. In this way, pumping at low rates avoids introducing oxygen
into the well and surrounding materials and turbidity issues are mitigated.

Low-flow sampling protocol should comply with equipment manufacturer’s


instructions and/or the following:
 a minimum of two tubing volumes (including the volume of water in the pump
and the flow-through cell) should be purged to waste, prior to recording the
water quality indicator parameters every three to five minutes.
 when indicator field parameters have stabilized, conditions are favourable for
sampling to begin.
 stabilization is achieved when three consecutive readings are taken at three
to five minute intervals and parameters are within the following target criteria:
 pH values within ± 0.1 pH unit
 temperature within 3%
 conductivity within ± 0.02 mS/cm
 dissolved oxygen within ± 0.2 mg/L
 ORP within ± 10 millivolts
 turbidity within ± 1.0 NTU
The method of purging and the volume of water purged should be recorded in the
field notes.

1.3 Field Parameters


There are a number of parameters which can be measured in the field including
temperature, pH, ORP/eH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen,
alkalinity, etc. At a minimum, groundwater sampling at the Cheviot Mine should
include temperature, pH, and electrical conductivity. At those locations where
selenium is a parameter of concern, dissolved oxygen and turbidity should also
be included.

All field parameters measured should be recorded in the field notes.

1.4 Sample Handling


Samples should be collected in the appropriate bottle supplied by the laboratory
and the appropriate preservative added at the time of sampling. Vinyl gloves are
worn during sampling to avoid sample contamination. New gloves should be used
for each monitoring well. Each bottle is to be filled to capacity with little to no air
space remaining.

Groundwater samples to be analyzed for dissolved metals or dissolved organic


carbon are to be filtered in the field using a disposable in-line filter. Samples to be
analyzed for dissolved metals should be preserved at the time of sample collection
(as per laboratory instruction). A new filter is to be used for each well sampled to
avoid cross contamination. Samples collected for the analysis of major ions should
not be filtered or preserved.

After the sampling program is finished, all bottles should be checked to ensure they
have been labeled and a chain of custody form is completed. Since some of the
parameters have limited holding times (i.e. need to be analysed quickly), the
samples are to be packaged carefully in the container provided (cooler) and
shipped immediately to the laboratory for analytical testing.

1.5 Decontamination of Equipment


Any non-dedicated field equipment that has come in contact with potentially
contaminated soil or water is to be cleaned prior to and after each use in order to
prevent cross contamination. Field parameter instruments should be cleaned,
calibrated and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Some
typical cleaning solutions used for various contaminants are listed below.

Table I. Decontamination Solutions


Chemical Parameters Name of Solution Remarks

inorganic acids, metal processing Sodium carbonate good water softener, 10-20%
wastes, heavy metals aqueous solution
solvents and organic compounds, oily, Trisodium phosphate good rinsing solution or detergent,
greasy unspecified wastes 10% aqueous solution
pesticides, fungicides, cyanides, Calcium hypochlorite Excellent disinfectant, bleaching
ammonia, and other non-acidic and oxidizing agent, 10% aqueous
inorganic wastes solution

Cleaning Procedure
1. At a minimum, equipment is to be rinsed with distilled water.
2. Particles or film should be removed using a brush made of inert material and
a detergent solution as specified in Table II. Distilled water is used to rinse.
3. A detergent solution is circulated through all electric pumping devices. Rinse
with distilled water.
HAUL ROAD WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR
THE CHEVIOT MINE HAUL ROAD

Prepared by:

Teck Coal Ltd.

Cardinal River Operations

Bag Service 2570 Hinton AB T7V 1V5

OCTOBER 28, 2011

Prepared in response to:

Cheviot EPEA Approval 46972-01-00 - Conditions 4.2.33, 4.2.34 and 4.2.35; and

Luscar EPEA Approval 11767-02-00 – Conditions 4.2.28, 4.2.29 and 4.2.30


 
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.  Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 3 
2.  Identification of Mine Wastewater Handling Facilities ........................................................................ 3 
2.1.  Settling Ponds ............................................................................................................................... 5 
2.2.  Sumps ............................................................................................................................................ 6 
2.3.  Retention Areas ............................................................................................................................ 7 
2.4.  Water Diversions ........................................................................................................................... 7 
2.5.  Attenuation Features (sediment traps) ........................................................................................ 8 
3.  Monitoring Plan to Identify the Extent and Significance of Sedimentation Impacts ........................... 9 
4.  Monitoring and Inspection Criteria ..................................................................................................... 10 
4.1.  Water System Maintenance or Modification Plan ...................................................................... 10 
4.1.1.  Short term planning and strategy (routine inspection, routine meeting) .......................... 10 
4.1.2.  Longer term plan – EMS Management Review, identification of large scale projects ....... 13 
4.2.  Erosion Control Plan .................................................................................................................... 13 
4.2.1.  Seeding ................................................................................................................................ 14 
4.2.2.  Armoring ............................................................................................................................. 15 
4.3.  Reclamation Plan ........................................................................................................................ 15 
5.  Reclamation Plan ................................................................................................................................ 16 
 

   


 
1. Introduction
 

Teck Coal Limited’s Cardinal River Operations (CRO) has prepared this Haul Road Water Management 
Program in response to the Cheviot EPEA 46972‐01‐00 Conditions 4.2.33 to 4.2.35 and the Luscar EPEA 
11767‐02‐00 Conditions 4.2.28 to 4.2.30.  The relevant and equivalent Condition in each Approval 
states: 

4.2.29/4.2.34  The Haul Road Water Management Program proposal shall include, at a 
minimum, the following: 

a. Identification of mine wastewater handling facilities (eg. sumps, retention areas, 
water diversions, attenuation features) that would be classified as major or minor 
wastewater handling facilities; 
b. A monitoring plan to identify the extent and significance of sedimentation impacts to 
the receiving environment from release of features described in 4.2.29/4.2.35 (a); 
c. Monitoring and inspection criteria that will prompt the implementation of a: 
i. Water system maintenance or modification plan; 
ii. Erosion control plan; 
iii. Reclamation plan. 
d. Details of the reclamation plan; and 
e. Any other information as requested in writing by the Director.  
 
This submission addresses these requirements specifically. 
 

2. Identification of Mine Wastewater Handling Facilities


 

The Haul Road Water Management System utilizes a variety of structures to collect, transport, 
and/or treat runoff water prior to ultimate discharge to a receiving environment. 

These structures are listed and described in Table 1 below. 

   


 
 

Table 1 – Haul Road Water Management Structures 

CRO Structure  Which 
Km 
Structure Type  Name (if  Side of  Comments 
Marking 
applicable)  Haul Road 
3.3  Retention area    west    
3.3  Clean water culvert    both   Separated from retention area 
7.2  Clean water culvert    both    
7.7  Clean water culvert    both   Separated from retention area 
7.7  Retention area    west  A8 reclaim area 
8.3  Retention area    west  A8 reclaim area 
8.6  Retention area    east  Drainage to underground mine 
workings 
8.8  Clean water culvert    both    
9.0  Settling Pond  Km 9.0 Pond  east  Discharges to McLeod River 
9.1  Clean water culvert    both    
9.3  Attenuation area    east  Discharge flows to Km 9.0 Pond 
9.4  Clean water culvert    both    
9.6  Clean water culvert    both    
9.8  Clean water culvert    both    
9.9  Clean water culvert    both    
10.0  Settling Pond  Km 10.0 Pond  east  Discharges to McLeod River 
10.1  Retention area    west    
10.2  Clean water culvert    both  3 culverts in parallel 
10.5‐10.6  Retention area    west  Several cells along system length 
11.4  Clean water culvert  Sulphur Spring  west  Natural spring; flows to McLeod 
River 
11.5  Retention area    west  Water Truck fill up station draws 
water from this structure 
11.6  Retention area    west  Several cells along system length 
12.8  Settling Pond  WHC (Whitehorse  west  Discharges to Whitehorse Creek 
Creek) Pond 
13.0  Attenuation feature    west  Discharge flows to WHC Pond 
13.7  Clean water culvert    both    
13.9  Clean water culvert    both    
14.3  Clean water culvert    both    
15.0  Settling Pond  PCNW (Prospect  west  Discharges to Prospect Creek a 
Creek Northwest)  short distance upstream of the 
Pond  confluence with the McLeod 
15.0  Retention area    east  PCNE (Prospect Creek 
Northeast) area 


 
15.1  Settling Pond  PCSE (Prospect  east  Discharges to McLeod River 
Creek Southeast) 
Pond 
15.2  Attenuation feature    east  PC (Prospect Creek) Central; 
discharge flows to PCSE Pond 
15.3  Retention area    west    
15.4  Retention area    east    
16.0  Clean water culvert  Snake Culvert  both    
16.5  Sump  Km 16.5 Sump  west  Pumps to Km 18.1 Sump 
16.6  Clean water culvert    both    
17.9  Clean water culvert    both    
18.1  Sump  Km 18.1 Sump  west  Geosynthetic liner with transfer 
pump.  Pumps to Cheviot Pond 
18.3  Clean water culvert  Moss Creek  both  Flows to McLeod River 
18.6  Clean water culvert    both    
19.0  Retention area    west    
19.2  Retention area    west    
19.3  Clean water culvert    both    
19.4  Clean water culvert    both    
19.7  Settling Pond  Cheviot Pond  west  Discharges to Cheviot Creek, 
which then flows to the McLeod 
River 
Currently  Sump  R22 Sump    Along the new road in the Harris 
No km  McLeod mining area.  Main haul 
marking  road is still into the Prospect 
mining area. 
 

2.1. Settling Ponds


 

The Approval definition for “settling pond” is a containment structure to treat discharge mine 
wastewater.  In this case, the haul road has 6 settling ponds which regularly receive road runoff 
and periodically or regularly discharge to the receiving environment: 

1. Km 9.0 Pond 
2. Km 10.0 Pond 
3. WHC (Whitehorse Creek) Pond 
4. PCSE (Prospect Creek Southeast) Pond 
5. PCNW (Prospect Creek Northwest) Pond 
6. Cheviot Pond 


 
The Cheviot Pond, while constructed primarily to service wastewater from the Cheviot pits (CC1, 
CC2, CC3, CC4, and CC5) is an active component of the overall haul road water management 
system and is therefore included in this program. 

Discharge from these structures is monitored as per the Approval and results are reported in the 
monthly and annual reports to Alberta Environment.  Approved polymer products may be used 
to enhance the water treatment processes of coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation.  As 
per the definition in the Approval, all ponds listed above are currently classified as major. 

2.2. Sumps
 

CRO defines a sump as a water collection and transfer point; that is, there is a water pump 
installed in the sump.  There are 3 locations along the haul road that have seasonal pumps 
(typically April or May to October or November) setup: 

1. Km 16.5 Sump 
2. Km 18.1 Sump 
3. R22 Sump 

The Km 16.5 Sump collects haul road runoff from the local area (approximately from the km 16 
to 17 section of the haul road).  There is no discharge point.  Rather, water is pumped to the Km 
18.1 Sump. 

The Km 18.1 Sump collects haul road runoff from the local area (approximately from the km 17 
to 18.5 section of the haul road) and also receives water pumped from the Km 16.5 Sump.  The 
Km 18.1 Sump pumps water to the first cell of the Cheviot settling pond system (a pumping 
distance of approximately 2 km). 

The R22 Sump is a collection and transfer point in the relatively new development in the Harris 
McLeod mining area.  Currently, water from R22 is pumped to the Cheviot settling pond.  
However, R22 will be also be licensed as a settling pond which will also permit CRO to discharge 
water from this structure. 

CRO also uses pumps on a per need basis at other water management structures.  Pumps may 
be set up to pump to a holding area, or water may be pumped into a water truck and taken 
elsewhere (such as the Cheviot settling pond, a mined out pit such as CC1, or to a large 
retention area such as the A8 reclamation).  For example, pumps have been set up in the past in 
the Km 10.1 Retention area (to pump both into a water truck as well as to the large retention 
areas at km 10.6) as well as in the attenuation feature at km 15.1 (to pump into a water truck). 

  


 
2.3. Retention Areas
 

CRO defines a retention area as a containment area which receives water but does not 
discharge directly to a receiving environment.  This may include a large, low‐lying area (such as 
the vegetated A8 reclamation area on the west side of the haul road in the km 7.5 to 8.5 area), 
abandoned underground workings (such as the underground portal areas below the east side 
of the haul road in the km 9 area) or a contained structure similar to a settling pond but 
without a discharge point (such as the large holding area below the east side of the public road 
adjacent to the km 14.8 area of the haul road). 

2.4. Water Diversions


 

CRO uses clean water culverts to allow clean water draining the natural topography to pass 
undisturbed below the haul road and to the McLeod River.   This is purposefully designed to 
maximize the amount of clean water diverted past or through disturbance areas (such as the 
haul road) while minimizing the volumes of runoff and wastewater that need to be treated in 
licensed facilities. 

The locations of clean water culverts are marked with signage along the entire length of haul 
road in order to keep them properly isolated from potential disturbance from the road, such as 
material being graded and runoff water draining from the road. 

Clean water culverts are installed at numerous locations: 

1. Km 3.3 
2. Km 7.2 
3. Km 7.7 
4. Km 8.8 
5. Km 9.1 
6. Km 9.4 
7. Km 9.6 
8. Km 9.8 
9. Km 9.9 
10. Km 10.2 
11. Km 11.4 
12. Km 13.7 
13. Km 13.9 
14. Km 14.3 
15. Km 16.0 
16. Km 16.6 


 
17. Km 17.9 
18. Km 18.3 
19. Km 18.6 
20. Km 19.3 
21. Km 19.4 
 

2.5. Attenuation Features (sediment traps)


 
Attenuation features, also called sedimentation traps, are structures which receive runoff from 
the haul road and have designed discharge points.  However, they do not discharge directly to 
the receiving environment.  Rather, they are part of an overall settling pond system; their 
discharge will flow into a settling pond downstream.  Attenuation feature are designed to 
handle very raw haul road runoff (which will include coarse fragments of suspended solids); 
these helps to ease the workload on the settling ponds.  Attenuation features are typically 
immediately adjacent to the haul road and are thus easier to access and clean out than most of 
the settling ponds are. 
 
Attenuation features (sediment traps) include: 
 
1. Km 9.3 (east side of the haul road) – drains to the Km 10.0 Pond 
2. Km 13.0 (west side of the haul road) – drains to the WHC Pond 
3. Km 15.1 (east side of the haul road) – drains to the PCSE Pond 

Photo 1 – Multi‐celled attenuation feature (Prospect Central, Km 15.1) 


 
3. Monitoring Plan to Identify the Extent and Significance of Sedimentation Impacts
 

The Cheviot Mine and Cheviot Haul Road are located in the eastern slopes of the front range of the 
Rocky Mountains.  Operations are currently situated in an area near the headwaters of several 
streams, including the McLeod River, Thornton Creek, Harris Creek, Cheviot Creek, Prospect Creek, 
and Whitehorse Creek.  These streams are subject to extremes in their flow regimes, including 
within short periods of time (days to hours).   

Extreme changes in flow rates and stream levels have been a common observation during the 
operating period of the Cheviot mine and haul road (2004 to present).  This was especially true in 
June 2011, when a very powerful event was experienced resulting in significant changes to stream 
beds, particularly in the McLeod River.  Several stretches of the McLeod River visible from the haul 
road have significantly changed course.  Other streams, such as Prospect Creek, have been noted as 
being subject to periodic catastrophic drift. 

Due to the energy and flow rates that these systems are capable of and frequently demonstrate, it 
would be very difficult if not impossible to identify the extent and significance of sedimentation 
impacts.  There are periods of the year in which sedimentation (whether from settling ponds or from 
natural events.  It is worth noting that there have been numerous natural events documented since 
2004 in which significant natural sedimentation has occurred) may be visible within stream 
substrate, and other periods of the same year in which very high flow rates scour the stream bottom 
and flush away finer grained sediments. 

It may be possible to estimate sediment loadings from settling ponds using field and laboratory data 
for total suspended solids in combination with flow rates.  However, this may not be useful in 
considering impacts as sedimentation is periodically flushed from the receiving environments. 

The best indicator of potential impact is the existing monitoring program (Condition 4.2.26 of the 
current Approval) for benthic macroinvertebrates, which is conducted every 2 years.  The main 
objectives of the benthic program is to evaluate the effects of the discharge of mine effluent on 
benthic invertebrate communities in study area streams (including the McLeod River at locations 
along the haul road) and estimate the length of the affected reach along each stream. 

CRO proposes that this program is the best method for evaluating impacts, including sedimentation 
resulting from the haul road water management system. 


 
4. Monitoring and Inspection Criteria
 

4.1. Water System Maintenance or Modification Plan


 

Maintenance of the Haul Road Water Management system largely occurs on a shorter term 
strategy, often week to week or even day to day during periods of heavy precipitation and melt.  
Modification is a longer term consideration, and falls within the scope of the Environmental 
Management System (EMS). 

4.1.1.Short term planning and strategy (routine inspection, routine meeting)


 

Compliance with the EPEA is largely dependent on having an effective maintenance 
program for the haul road water management system.  Any effective maintenance 
program is best supported by a comprehensive and effective inspection program, as well 
as on having effective communications. 

Inspections of the haul road water management system are conducted on a weekly basis 
and consist of inspecting a variety of management structures (detailed in Section 2 above) 
as well as the general condition of the haul road itself (eg. ensuring proper drainage, no 
standing water, etc). 

Findings from these inspections are communicated on a regular basis, including at a 
regularly scheduled meeting involving the Environment Department, Operations 
Department, and Engineering Department.  If a more urgent observation is made during 
an inspection, it is communicated to appropriate personnel immediately (such as to the 
Mine Services Foreman and/or the Mine Operations Foreman). 

These meetings identify corrective and preventive measures and maintenance to be 
conducted.  Tasks are identified, as is who is responsible for carrying out the task, and by 
which date work shall be complete.  It is determined whether work will be conducted by 
CRO using its own equipment and operators or by hiring contractor equipment and 
operators. 

10 
 
Photo 2 – Contractor equipment cleaning sediment out of a settling pond 

The short term planning and strategy is conceptualized in Figure 1 below. 

11 
 
 
12 
 
4.1.2.Longer term plan – EMS Management Review, identification of large scale projects
 

Longer term plans and larger project work will be identified and discussed at the regular 
meetings described above and often require significant resources to be completed.  The 
Environmental Management Committee (a committee which plans, guides and supports 
CRO’s Environmental Management System) conducts at least 1 Management Review 
during the year.  Full Management Review is done late in the year in order to review 
environmental performance as planned by the EMS as well as to plan for the upcoming 
year.   

When large project work is agreed upon as being necessary, one of the roles of the 
Environmental Management Committee is to ensure that sufficient resources are 
budgeted and allocated. 

4.2. Erosion Control Plan


 

Effective erosion control involves draining water off of the haul road as quickly as possible (to 
prevent erosion of the road itself and to minimize the suspended solids picked up by moving 
water) and into the water management system.  Water can be effectively drained from the haul 
road by ensuring proper grading and banking of the road surface.  However, this can be difficult 
in some areas of the road.  In sections of haul road where banking or crowning of the road 
surface is not feasible, CRO uses cross ditches (small, shallow scarifications of the road surface 
at an approximate angle of 45 degrees to the direction of the road) to drain water.  Cross 
ditches are often used on either side of a stream crossing (eg. Prospect Creek crossing, 
Whitehorse Creek crossing) as bridge structures must be protected from water erosion. 

Erosion control within the water management system has 2 main strategic components: 

1. Minimization of bare disturbance 
2. Reduction of the energy of flowing water 

These goals are accomplished by using seeding to establish a vegetative cover on bare ground 
and/or by using rock to protect bare ground and dissipate the energy of flowing water.  Rock 
may be used to armor ditching, pond inlets and outlets, to construct riprap channels and to 
construct rock check dams.  Rock also helps to create turbulence in flowing water which is 
important to achieve effective mixing when using a flocculant product for water treatment. 

13 
 
4.2.1.Seeding
 

CRO conducts seeding of disturbed areas for erosion control on an annual basis.  Seeding is 
done with a truck mounted hydroseeder unit and/or hand broadcasters.  A quick‐
establishing, non‐aggressive seed mix (consisting mostly of annual rye grass) is used along 
with fertilizer.  On slopes, mulch and/or a tackifying agent is also used to keep the seed in 
place until germination occurs. 

Typically only a few hectares of disturbance require seeding each year.  Seeding is usually 
done in May or June, but may be done several times during a growing season depending 
on whether or not further disturbance occurs.  Disturbance usually only occurs during 
routine cleaning of settling ponds (ie. the tracks on an excavator may disturb previously 
vegetated areas while accessing the pond for cleanout). 

Photo 3 – Revegetative cover around the Km 9.0 Pond 

14 
 
4.2.2.Armoring
 

Competent rock is used to armor ditching and the inlet and outlet structures of settling 
ponds to prevent erosion.  When a settling pond, sump, or attenuation feature is cleaned 
out, rock for armoring the structure is often placed (or replaced) at the same time. 

Photo 4 – Riprap ditch (ditching with rock armoring) 

4.3. Reclamation Plan


 

The Reclamation Plan for the haul road is long term cannot be implemented until operations at 
the Cheviot Mine cease, as the road will remain active infrastructure.  As such, it has little to no 
impact on shorter term water management strategy or activities on the haul road. 

 
 

15 
 
5. Reclamation Plan
 

CRO, with the assistance of Norwest Corporation, submitted a haul road closure plan along with its 
reclamation security provision in 2006.  This is CRO’s most current and detailed reclamation plan 
and has been included as an appendix to this submission. 

16 
 
4 CHEVIOT HAULROAD CLOSURE PLAN

4.1 INTRODUCTION
The Cheviot Haulroad (MSL 040889) was constructed in 2004-2005 to provide access from
the Luscar Plantsite to the Cheviot Creek Pit. It involves the Cheviot / EPEA approval
#46972-00 (as amended). The disturbed areas adjacent to the Haulroad are been reclaimed
progressively and the Haulroad will be fully reclaimed starting in 2031. This chapter sets out
a conceptual closure plan with a schedule and costs for reclaiming the road that relates to this
EPEA approval – an 10.5km stretch (from approximately km 8.8 to km 19.3). The
reclamation involves ripping, removal of culverts and crossings, placement of coversoil,
revegetation, and re-establishment of the County Road. There will be a decision prior to this
work whether to preserve the Haulroad for the Province, and reclaim instead the County
Road. The disturbed area for the Cheviot Haulroad is currently 87.8ha with 15.3 ha reclaimed
in 2005. Drawing 3 provides additional details.

This document sets out the reclamation goals, predisturbance conditions, the work done to
build the road, the reclamation plans, and show how these plans meet the reclamation goals.
A list of contingencies in the event of poor performance are provided. A schedule and budget
are also provided. A more detailed closure plan will evolve. Prior to initiating final
reclamation, a decommissioning plan will be created and submitted for approval.

4.2 PREDEVELOPMENT CONDITIONS


The Haulroad follows the McLeod River valley. The road crosses the McLeod Valley
Benchlands over morainal terrain overlain by a veneer of aeolian deposits. It follows the
valley floor, with fluvial, lacustrine, and morainal units, most of which was previously
disturbed by construction of the Grave Flats Road and the railway. The site is located in Front
Ranges of the Rocky Mountains in a valley with elevations between 1700 and 1800m. The
region is an important wildlife area. The Haulroad crosses numerous ephemeral creeks and
two permanent ones: Whitehorse Creek and Prospect Creek.

4.3 HAULROAD CONSTRUCTION


Prior to construction of the Cheviot Haulroad, the County Road provided access to this area.
The Haulroad was built largely parallel and upslope from the County Road. In some area, the
Country Road was been reconstructed immediately adjacent to the Haulroad and separated by
a 1.2m high berm.

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The Cheviot Haulroad construction started in March 2004 and it was first used to haul coal in
October 2004. Construction involved rock and till cuts and end dumping of fill to provide a
road surface. Thicknesses of fills vary widely. The road is capped with a ¾ inch compacted
road crush (gravel) running surface. Major construction activities were completed in spring
2005. Long, small diameter culverts carry ephemeral-creek water under both the Haulroad
and the County Road. There are sedimentation ponds at the outlet of some culverts.

There are two large watercourse crossings – one at Whitehorse Creek, the other at Prospect
Creek. These crossings each has a very large culvert spans over the creek and the Whitehorse
crossing has an additional span over an access road for a nearby campground. Fills above the
crossings are mechanically stabilized earth fills and there are gabion / concrete block barriers
lining the roads over the crossings. Erosion protection has been added to the stream banks
near the culvert spans.

There are reclamation stockpiles along the Haulroad and some of the cut/fill slopes were
reclaimed in 2005. Some of the cut and fill slopes are oversteepened and actively slumping /
eroding. Geotechnical stabilization of these slopes is considered part of construction or
operational maintenance of the roadway and is not included with in the reclamation cost
calculations.

4.4 LANDSCAPE PERFORMANCE GOALS (AND REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS)


Table 1 provides a summary of the reclamation requirements from EPEA Approval #46972-
00-00 (as amended). The details have been paraphrased for brevity – the reader is referred to
the Approval for more detailed information. The reclamation plan below is designed to meet
these goals – having characteristics that result in return of equivalent land capability, removal
of watercourse crossings, placement of certain soil thicknesses and quality, reseeding.

TABLE 4.1
CONDITIONS FROM EPEA APPROVAL #46972-00-00 (AS AMENDED).
THAT RELATE TO CLOSURE LANDSCAPE PERFORMANCE GOALS

Approval condition Comment / additional information


5.1.1 Unless otherwise specified in this Part, reclaim The CRC Cheviot Haulroad application indicates
disturbed land in accordance with the reclamation plan in that:
the application. Reclamation will proceed progressively to reduce
risk of sedimentation to McLeod River.
The slopes will be regraded to meet adjacent
contours.
Cut and fill slopes will be capped with salvaged
soil and seeded with appropriate seed mixes.

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Approval condition Comment / additional information
There will be no average soil thickness, instead
the soil will match the adjacent undisturbed soils
on the same terrain unit (ranging from thin rocky
soils to thick loamy morainal soils) to meet
equivalent land capability
The Haulroad will be reclaimed when mining
operations at Cheviot are completed and the
nominally 8m wide public road will be left in place.
(If the County indicates it prefers to keep the
Haulroad, then CRC will reclaim the County Road
instead.)
5.2.1 The approval holder shall reclaim disturbed land Overarching goal
through appropriate conservation and reclamation methods
to construct land having characteristics (soils, topography
and drainage) that results in a return of land capability
equivalent to that existing prior to disturbance.
5.2.2 The approval holder shall remove all watercourse Opportunity for discussion about leaving the large
crossings as part of the final reclamation, unless otherwise crossings in place as a permanent improvement
authorized in writing by the Director.
5.2.3 Reclaim all access roads and Haulroad s, including Small culverts that pass under the Haulroad also
the removal of culverts and other structures, recountouring, serve the County Road.
restoration of drainage, replacement of surface soil and
revegetation.
5.3.1 The approval holder shall create a final landscape
with free draining and nonerosive slopes.
5.3.6 The approval holder shall place a minimum of 0.10 m Placement of a nominal thickness of 0.4m of
of salvaged regolith on recontoured areas, excluding the coversoil is standard practice for the Cheviot Mine.
bed of waterbodies.
5.3.7 The approval holder shall establish reclaimed soil
profiles in the recontoured areas of mine disturbance…
consisting of a minimum of 0.3m of salvaged surface soil
on top of a minimum of 0.1m of salvaged regolith.
5.4.1 The approval holder shall only use the following types
of seed for revegetation:
(a) for agronomic species, that is equivalent to Canada #1
seed (meeting criteria set out in approval)
(b) for native species (meeting criteria set out in approval)
5.4.5 Revegetation: on grassland/shrub areas, shrub and
grass-legume shall be established. In forest areas, trees
and shrubs shall be established to create a density greater
than 1000 stems per hectare. The proportion of trees vs
shrubs depends on whether open forest or closed forest
areas are being established.
Other goals: Closure landscape shall be geotechnically Some cut and fill slopes are presently slumping /
stable and present minimal risk to safety. eroding and require operational stabilization. The
closure design assumes that these slopes will be
stabilized prior to final reclamation.

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4.5 RECLAMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODS
The reclamation plan for the Cheviot Haulroad includes the following steps:

1. Minor grading and ripping of the road to create suitable subsoil and to encourage
runoff.
2. Sedimentation ponds will be dozed in and capped with reclamation material.
3. Powerlines and other infrastructure shall be decommissioned and removed.
4. Placement of 0.4m thickness of coversoil on flat areas and approximately 0.1 to 0.3m
thickness on slopes. Detailed sequences for placement and spreading of materials on
Haulroad will be developed at a later time.
5. Placement of snaky berms across the flat areas to reduce post-reclamation vehicle
traffic and reduce wildlife sight distances. These berms will be approximately 1.5m
high (average), about 20m long, and be spaced irregularly, but at an average spacing
of about 150m.
6. Removal of major watercourse crossing at Whitehorse Creek and Prospect Creek.
7. Revegetation by seeding with suitable native and agronomic seed mixes in grassland
areas, (planting of 2500 stems per hectare of trees and shrubs (to allow establishment
of 1000 stems per hectare)).
8. Reestablishment of the original County Road where disturbed by Haulroad
reclamation. Small diameter culverts that service the County Road will remain.
9. The reclaimed Haulroad area shall be monitored and maintained until reclamation
certification. There is an opportunity for early reclamation certification of some
areas.

Removal of large culverts will involve:

• Detailed design of removal procedures, permits, public consultation

• Temporary closure of County Road


• Setting up stream protection measures for construction erosion
• Removal of material above and adjacent to spans, wire mesh (with some gravel) to be
moved to Class 3 landfill using a backhoe loading articulated trucks

• Removal of spans using crane – removed for re-use or recycling


• Abutment slopes to be resloped to a stable angle (nominally 2H:1V) and with toes
protected from creek erosion by suitable rip-rap armour

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• The County Roads shall be re-established – some cut and fill will be required.

• Reclamation of cut and fill slopes as per instructions above. Reseeding and
reforestation to follow.

4.6 RECLAMATION MATERIAL BALANCES


For reclamation material balance purposes it is assumed that the entire 87.8ha area will
receive 0.4m of reclamation material for a total of 350,000 cubic metres of reclamation
material. By design and in practice, the slopes may receive a thinner cover. Existing
reclamation stockpiles along the Haulroad contain approximately 152,000 cubic metres.
Riprap for armouring stream channels at the crossings is assumed to be the same quantity and
size as that presently employed at those locations.

4.7 HOW THE DESIGN MEETS THE RECLAMATION GOALS

TABLE 4.2
HOW THE DESIGN MEETS THE OBJECTIVES

Goal Design Risk


Process: Progressive reclamation Haulroad being progressively
reclaimed already.
Process: The Haulroad will be Plan shows Haulroad reclaimed
reclaimed when mining operations at and County road fully re-
Cheviot are completed and the established.
nominally 7m wide public road will be Prior to reclaiming the Haulroad,
left in place. (If the County indicates it the County and the Provincial
prefers to keep the Haulroad, then Government will be approached
CRC will reclaim the County Road for additional direction.
instead.)
Overall goal: The approval holder Soils will match adjacent Land capability measurements
shall reclaim disturbed land through undisturbed soils, topography will may not be well defined.
appropriate conservation and be similar to predisturbance (they
reclamation methods to construct land will be somewhat similar to other
having characteristics (soils, terrace deposits in the valley) and
topography and drainage) that results drainage will be very similar
in a return of land capability (regrading will blend with existing
equivalent to that existing prior to contours, stream channels will be
disturbance. re-established)
Overall goal: Meet intended land The coversoil and starter
uses. vegetation are similar to that of
surrounding natural areas.
Water crossing removal: The approval Large watercourse crossings will Some range in cost estimates for
holder shall remove all watercourse be removed. Small culverts will removal of major crossings.

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Goal Design Risk
crossings as part of the final remain in place as part of the
reclamation County Road.
Regrading: Create free-draining and Slopes have similar Additional design may be required
non-erosive slopes. Slopes to be characteristics to natural slopes for high fill slopes to control runoff
geotechnically stable. and drainage density is preserved. water. If gullies are detected in
first few years, they can be
repaired. Present slumping needs
to be repaired operationally.
Capping: The area shall be reclaimed Coversoil will match adjacent
with 0.40m of coversoil undisturbed soils. Plans meet this
minimum specification.
Revegetation: On grassland/shrub Revegetation, and reforestation Requires establishment survey to
areas, shrub and grass-legume shall will meet these criteria. confirm performance.
be established (seed mixes to meet
specified criteria). In forest areas,
trees and shrubs shall be established
to create a density greater than 1000
stems per hectare. The proportion of
trees vs shrubs depends on whether
open forest or closed forest areas are
being established.

TABLE 4.3
CONTINGENCY PLANS

Risk Contingency plan


Unacceptable erosion - gullies Repair gullies by controlling overland flow and/or armouring
gullies
Erosion of stream channels, riverbanks Redesign, repair of armouring.
Failure of vegetation in some areas Refertilization, reseeding
Failure of establishment survey Evaluate soils, replant trees or improve soils as needed.
Overcompaction of soils Ripping
Geotechnical instability of cut or fill slopes Regrading or buttressing and re-reclamation.

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Table 4.4 provides a schedule of reclamation and closure activities.

TABLE 4.4
SCHEDULE

Year Date Activity


1 2004 Haulroad construction and opening
2 2005 Complete construction substantially completed
3 2005/06 Reclamation of cut and fill slopes
4-28 2006-2030 Haulroad use
6 2010 Potential to apply for reclamation certification for slopes reclaimed in 2005
29-31 2031-2033 Haulroad reclamation
32-39 2034-2043 Ongoing reclamation monitoring and maintenance if required
40 2044 Establishment survey, reclamation certification

4.8 RECLAMATION UNIT COSTS


This section provides the basis for unit cost estimations for the Cheviot Haulroad
Reclamation based on an average per hectare basis plus special projects.

Reclamation costs are based on typical equipment costs fully operated and maintained by
CRO except where otherwise noted and representative productivities as described below.
These costs have been checked against typical coal mine reclamation costs in BC and
Alberta, and have been reconciled with actual costs reported to Norwest by CRO. The
sections below provide some details on the cost calculation and Table 4.5 provides a
summary.

4.8.1 Soil Stockpiling


Soil salvage is conducted in advance of mining out areas. Where the soil is stockpiled as a
source of future reclamation coversoil, costs (loading, hauling, and placement in stockpiles)
are included with mining costs as a component of overburden stripping. Where the material is
directed hauled for coversoil placement on newly regraded areas, this cost is included in the
coversoil placement category.

4.8.2 Final Grading (recontouring) – Cheviot Haulroad


Final recountouring of the Cheviot Haulroad is largely based on minor reworking of the flat
road portion and earthworks related to re-establishment of the County Road.

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CRO previously calculated that regrading for shallow slopes4 (0-18°) using a D10 track dozer
of $2230/ha. This is based on $127/hr with a productivity of 17.5 hours/ha and is based upon
the Caterpillar Handbook and site experience.

It is assumed that the outstanding cut and fill slopes will be largely regarded as an operational
expense as construction activities for the road wind up. As a result, reclamation on the
Haulroad is assumed to occur predominantly on flat terrain (0-18○). The road surface must be
ripped prior to coversoil placement and regrading. Equipment costs and typical productivity
rates for similar sites were used to calculate costs. Allowances are also made for the larger
percentage of equipment operators at the Cheviot mine who are young and inexperienced.

The range of typical values for slope regrading was identified by Norwest as falling between
$2040 - $4,500/ha. Ripping costs are based on a D-10 dozer with a single shank ripper at
$127/hr and ripping rate of 0.6 ha/hr. Norwest recommends that CRO use $2,250/ha for
average regrading cost calculation. An additional cost of $250/ha should be allocated for road
ripping for total grading costs of $2500/ha. A closer examination of actual regrading
requirements for the road may allow a refinement of this cost.

4.8.3 Coversoil Placement


Coversoil placement costs at the CRO properties are based upon an application of 40cm of
coversoil.

CRO calculated task unit costs for coversoil replacement for large mine equipment and small
contractor equipment ($8,400/ha and $10,700/ha respectively) based on historic data using
30t, 40t, and 170t trucks loaded with backhoes, with the coversoil spread with dozers.

Norwest calculated costs for the larger mine equipment and compared these costs to typical
coversoil placement costs for British Columbia coal mines and recent Norwest analysis of
similar mine sites.

Norwest has used a coversoil unit costs of $10,300/ha for large mine equipment (Cat 992
loader and Cat 777s (100t) trucks hauling, spreading with a small dozer). This assumes an
average haul of less than 4km. If coversoil placement will be carried out by smaller
equipment, task unit costs should be adjusted upwards by 20% (to $12,400/ha).

4
Elsewhere, this type of regrading is often called “contouring.”

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4.8.4 Revegetation (reseeding)
CRO has calculated revegetation costs using the average per hectare cost and considering
historic information on hydroseeding, aerial, and dozer/cyclone applications. Revegetation
costs were calculated as $540/ha.

Norwest reconciled CRO revegetation costs to typical reseeding costs for British Columbia
coal mines and recent Norwest analysis of similar reseeding projects. Seeding and fertilizing
are often done together at a cost of about $700/ha.

Norwest used the most recent seed costs and reseeding rates to calculate the task unit cost.
Task unit cost are based upon a seed application rate of 50 kg/ha, seed costs of $3.33/kg for
natural recovery mix and $5.44/kg for grasslands mix, and a helicopter seeding rate of
$89/ha. It was estimated that 75% of all revegetation would be reseeded with natural mix and
25% would be reseeded with grasslands mix. Norwest has used a reseeding task unit costs of
$300/ha.

4.8.5 Fertilization
CRO has calculated fertilization costs using the average per hectare cost and considering
historic information as $540/ha based on applications in years 1, 2, 3 and 5.

CRO has since changed its fertilization strategy, applying just one application at the time of
seeding. Norwest reconciled CRO fertilization costs to typical costs for British Columbia coal
mines and recent Norwest analysis of similar projects. Norwest has used a fertilization task
unit costs of $200/ha that reflects this change in fertilization strategy. Task unit costs were
calculated using a CRO actual fertilizer application rates of 150 kg/ha, 4 applications,
fertilizer costs of $15 per 25 kg bag, and helicopter fertilization costs of $89/ha.

4.8.6 Reforestation
CRO has calculated reforestation costs using the average per hectare cost and considering
historic information as $1,800/ha in 2005.

Norwest reconciled CRO reforestation costs to typical costs for British Columbia coal mines
and recent Norwest analysis of similar projects. Reforestation costs include seed collection,
nursery costs, and planting costs for 2500 stems per hectare of conifer, deciduous and shrub
seedlings at a total cost of $1/stem. Norwest has used a reforestation task unit costs of
$2,500/ha based on updated Cheviot costs for 2005.

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4.8.7 Special Projects

Powerline and other infrastructure decommissioning


There is only a modest amount of infrastructure at the Cheviot Haulroad presently, mostly
related to powerlines.

Norwest has assumed that the salvage value of such equipment will cover decommissioning
charges.

There are several small sedimentation ponds on the MSL. It is assumed that the cost of
covering and reclaiming these ponds is the same as normal reclamation costs on a per hectare
basis. These ponds may be in service after reclamation until such time as erosion rates have
reduced with good vegetative cover.

Removal of Whitehorse Creek crossing


Removal of this crossing is a significant undertaking and it is recommended that CRO obtain
an estimate from a construction / demolition firm. The work will involve:

• Detailed design of removal procedures, permits, public consultation

• Temporary closure of County Road


• Setting up stream protection measures for construction erosion

• Removal of concrete or gabion berms


• Removal of material above and adjacent to spans, wire mesh (with some gravel) to be
moved to Class 3 landfill using a backhoe loading articulated trucks

• Removal of spans using crane – removed for re-use or recycling

• Abutment slopes to be resloped to a stable angle (nominally 2H:1V) and protected


from toe erosion by suitable rip-rap armour

• The County Roads shall be re-established – some cut and fill will be required – the
existing bridge will be re-occupied by the road and a ramp up to join the existing
County Road will be constructed with fill

• Reclamation of cut and fill slopes as per instructions above. Reseeding.

One might roughly estimate this work as requiring a balanced cut and fill with approximately
three weeks work for a backhoe, loader, and dozer and crew of three labourers armed with a

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demolition and reconstruction design. A truck and crane will be required to remove some
metal components. Thus the cost can be roughly estimated at $300,000.

Removal of Prospect Creek crossing


The removal of the Prospect Creek crossing is similar to that of Whitehorse Creek but is
smaller and less costly. Thus the cost can be roughly estimated at $200,000.

4.8.8 Additional Decommissioning / Certification Costs


A value of 10% of outstanding reclamation cost is applied to cover additional
decommissioning / certification costs. This cost includes:

• Administration support, engineering design and site supervision

• Regulatory costs
• Monitoring and maintenance (including any supplemental revegetation / reforestation
costs as needed)

• Reclamation certification costs and fees

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4.8.9 Summary
The above costs are summarized in Table 3.1 below.

TABLE 4.5
SUMMARY OF UNIT COSTS

Category Item Description Unit cost


Reclamation Final grading of slopes Contouring and ripping $ 2,500/ha
Coversoil placement Load (from in-situ or stockpile), haul, $ 10,300/ha
dump, spread nominal 0.40m thickness.
Revegetation (reseeding) Purchase of and helicopter application $ 300/ha
of native / commercial seed mix
Fertilization One application of fertilizer $ 200/ha
Reforestation Buying and planting of trees and shrubs $ 2,500/ha
Net cost per hectare of terrestrial reclamation $ 15,800/ha
Special Removal of Whitehorse Removal of fills, MSE walls, concrete $ 300,000
projects Crossing spans, regrading, armouring, re-
establish County Road
Removal of Prospect Removal of fills, MSE walls, concrete $ 200,000
Crossing spans, regrading, armouring, re-
establish County Road
Powerline and other infra- Assumed that costs are covered by $0
structure salvage value
decommissioning
Other Additional Administration, engineering and 10% of outstanding
decommissioning / supervision, regulatory costs, reclamation costs
certification costs monitoring and maintenance,
reclamation certification costs and fees.

4.9 FIELD OBSERVATIONS


Gord McKenna toured the Cheviot Haulroad with Greg Ross, Marc Symbaluk and Christian
Weik (all of CRO) by pickup truck for about two hours on the afternoon June 26, 2006. We
drove out to the Cheviot Creek Pit along the Haulroad, and returned along the County Road.
Coal haultrucks and a water truck passed by during our trip. The weather was sunny, +25°C
and there was good access to all sites visited. Visual observations were made and
photographs taken. The purpose of the visit was to review the local geography, look at what
infrastructure was present, observe reclamation practices, and confirm the existence of a
representative number of reclamation stockpiles and recently reclaimed areas, and observe
the existing performance of the road.

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The following observations were made:

1. The Cheviot Haul road is active for the coal haul and provides access to the mine for
light vehicles and other equipment. The adjacent County Road is a separate road, but
shares crossings and other infrastructure. There are numerous small soil stockpiles
along the road. There are also numerous cut (in till and rock) and fill areas. Many of
the cuts in till are not geotechnically stable and are currently being maintained by the
mining operation. There had been a lot of rain in the weeks prior to the visit, and the
forest vegetation was lush, many of the ephemeral creeks were flowing, and there
were seeps emanating from some of the roadcuts.
2. The Cheviot Haulroad starts at Km 0.0 near the Luscar Mine plantsite.
3. The portion of the road covered by this closure plan starts at approximately Km 8.8
near the Inland Cement site. This is near where the road reaches the floodplain, at the
bottom of a shallow hill coming from Luscar. Water from upslope runs down the
road to a culvert crossing. There is a powerline which criss-crosses McLeod River.
The powerline would be removed when the mine is closed. The berms between the
road may have been previously considered as reclamation stockpile material,
however it appears that this material is becoming mixed and degraded with debris
from the road.
4. The Whitehorse Creek Crossing is flanked by steep cutslopes beside the Haulroad
that are actively slumping. The crossing consists of two very large culvert spans with
near vertical MSE walls. The roadway is narrowest here, and flanked by gabion
berms. The old county bridge is still in place and will be reactivated when the haul
road is closed. An extensive fill ramp will be required to bring the road from the
bridge south up to the existing County Road. The fillslope to the south of the crossing
is eroding (0.5-1m deep gullies) and there is some cracking in the County Road due
to settlement or other slope instability. Mining operations has instituted some
supplementary erosion protection at the base of the 31° fillslope.
5. We visited a small soil stockpile on the upslope side of the river. The stockpile
contains large quantities of coarse woody debris with the salvage soil.
6. The Prospect Crossing is much smaller than that at Whitehorse Creek and has a
single culvert span. The County Road continues east of the Haulroad and has its own
bridge. There is also an abandoned railway bridge over Prospect Creek. Like the
slopes at Whitehorse Creek, the cutslopes at the Prospect Creek crossing are actively
slumping. Further south, the rockcuts are performing well, in many cases there are
seeps at the till/bedrock contact.

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7. We stopped at culvert 17-9. There is a natural watercourse and a ditch on the upslope
side of the Haulroad that feed this culvert. The small diameter culvert is long and it
underlies both the Haulroad and the County Road. It looks like it would be
impractical to remove it from under the Haulroad (at closure) but still maintain it
under the County Road. The culvert exits on the McLeod River floodplain.
8. The end of the Cheviot Haulroad area covered by this closure plan is close to Km 19
where it crosses over into the Cheviot Creek Pit MSL.
9. The two major issues for the Haulroad closure is the cost of removal of the major
watercrossings, and the operational geotechnical instabilities of many of the till cuts
and some of the oversteepened fills.

Field tour limitations: The tour involved visual spot inspection of several dumps, reclamation
stockpiles, disturbed areas, and infrastructure areas at the Cheviot Haulroad. Only a limited
number of stockpiles and reclaimed areas were visited, no subsurface investigation / testing
was carried out. The tour was not constrained by time, weather, or accessibility.

4.10 RECLAMATION SECURITY COST PROVISION


As detailed above, reclamation security cost provision is based on an instantaneous cost of
closure as of December 31, 2005. During 2005, there was no increase in the disturbed area of
the Cheviot Haul Road – the area remained constant at 87.8ha. There were 15.3 hectares
reclaimed in 2005. Please refer to the CRO 2005 Annual Report for details on disturbance
and reclamation.

Disturbance Area Calculation


There was no new disturbed area for the Cheviot Haulroad.

CRO previously reported 87.8 ha of disturbance to the end of 2004. This value was not
confirmed by Norwest and is somewhat higher than is evident on maps provided by CRO.

As there is no increase in disturbance, there is no increase in liability for the disturbed area.

Reclamation Activities
Reclamation activities include regrading, coversoil placement, revegetation (reseeding),
fertilization, and reforestation. These activities have been rolled up into a single unit
reclamation cost per hectare.

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Regrading
There were 15.3 hectares regarded as part of reclamation in 2005.

Coversoil placement
In 2005, coversoil was replaced on 15.3 ha of land to a depth of 40cm (nominally 61,000 m3).

Revegetation
Reseeding was done on 15.3ha of land in 2005.

Fertilization
Fertilization was carried out on the 15.3ha reclaimed in 2005.

Reforestation
There were no reforestation activities on the Cheviot Haulroad site in 2005.

Reclamation cost calculation (summary)


The nominal cost of reclamation of 15.3ha @ $15,800/ha is $242,000 for 2005.

Special Projects
Two special projects are listed below. These items were previously covered under the 2004
reclamation security cost provision and have not changed status in 2005. The Whitehorse
Creek Crossing remains in active use. The reclamation cost remains unchanged from 2004.
The Prospect Creek Crossing remains in active use. The reclamation cost remains unchanged
from 2004.

Summary
The summary of costs for 2005 activities is shown in Table 4.6 below.

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TABLE 4.6
CHEVIOT HAULROAD 2005 RECLAMATION COST SUMMARY

Change in area in Incremental 2005


Task
2005 liability

New disturbance 0 ha $0

New reclamation 15.3 ha $(242,000)

Change in net disturbance, liability -15.3 ha $(242,000)

TABLE 4.7
CHEVIOT HAULROAD 2005 RECLAMATION LIABILITY

Previously declared liability (end 2004) N/A*


Increased disturbance in 2005 0 ha $0
Increased reclamation in 2005 15.3 ha $ (242,000)
Additional decommissioning / certification costs 10% $ (24,000)
Reclamation security cost provision for 2005 $ (266,000) Credit
*The reclamation security cost provision for the Cheviot Creek Pit as of December 31, 2005 is calculated as
$6,580,127 as shown in Table 3.3. This included the Cheviot Haulroad. There is insufficient detail to proportion
the previously declared liability between these two components.

4.11 RECOMMENDATIONS
Norwest recommends that:

• CRO review the geotechnical stability of its major cuts in till and fill slopes and
stabilize these slopes as necessary. Some cut slopes are actively slumping towards /
onto the Cheviot Haulroad.

• CRO forwards this document to Alberta Environment with a letter requesting


adjustment of the Letter of Guarantee to reflect the change in Reclamation Security
based on the reclamation security cost provision in this report.

• CRO carry out its plan to implement a Geographical Information System (GIS) and
create polygons operation that delineates annual disturbance, delineate areas of
disturbance, regrading, reseeding/fertilization, reforestation, other special projects
completed, and certified land to allow a timely and transparent reconciliation of its

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mining and reclamation activates in time for the 2006 annual report and reclamation
security calculation.

• CRO should maintain an accurate, formal site reclamation material balance as part of
the GIS work.

• CRO refine its estimate of the decommissioning costs for Whitehorse Creek Crossing
and Prospect Creek Crossing

• CRO continue dialogue with county and Alberta Environment relative to long-term
County Road configuration.

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5 CLOSING COMMENTS

While the reclamation planning and practices at the Cheviot Creek Pit and Cheviot Haulroad are well
managed and designed to meet Alberta Environment approval conditions and corporate goals, there
are significant discrepancies in record keeping regarding reclamation activities, in particular related to
matching of drawings and text in the material provided to Norwest. Norwest is encouraged, however,
to see that CRO is embarking on a significant GIS implementation in 2006 to resolve these issues and
have an accurate database and reconciliation for its reporting for year end 2006.

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6 REFERENCES

Cardinal River Coal. 2002 Application for Cheviot Private Haulroad. Submission to Alberta
Environment. August 2, 2002.

EPEA Approval, 2000. 11767-01-00 Cardinal River Coal Mine is held by Cardinal River Coals Ltd,
under the provisions of the Environmental Protection & Enhancement Act. This approval is
currently issued as of Sep. 01, 2000 and expires on Aug. 31, 2010.

EPEA Approval, 2003. 46972-00-01 Cheviot Mine - Private Haulroad Project. Held by Cardinal
River Coals Ltd, under the provisions of the Environmental Protection & Enhancement Act.
This approval is currently issued as of Dec. 05, 2003 and expires on Sep. 01, 2008.

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Appendix A
Elk Valley Coal: Cardinal River Operations
Cheviot Creek Mine & Cheviot Haulroad

Name Elk Valley Coal, Cardinal River Operations


Owner The Elk Valley Coal partnership is formed by Fording Inc., Teck Cominco Limited, Westshore
Terminals Income Fund and Sherritt Coal Partnership II, a partnership of Sherritt International
Corporation and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.
Mine type, Metallurgical coal. Using rotary breakers the coal is broken down and rock is removed. The
activities coal is then washed and conveyed to coal fired dryers for drying. The final product, which is
suitable for making steel is then exported.
Location The Cheviot Mine is located in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains just south of
Cadomin AB, about 42km south of Hinton, AB on Highway 40. Latitude: 52°59’N, Longitude:
117°21’W, 1700 to 1800-masl (5500-6000ft) elevation. NST Maps: 83F3, 83C14, 83F4
(1:50,000).
Climate The climate is continental with long cold winters and short cool summers. Annual precipitation
averages about 680mm with variations with slope, aspect, and elevation. Regions of the mine
are intermittently snow-free in winter due to warm winters winds from the Pacific.
Opening date The official opening of the Cheviot Mine was in the fall of 2004. There had been previous
mining on site during the 1950s.
Closure date Mining production of the Cheviot mine is expected to continue until 2030.
Mine production The mining capacity of the Cheviot Mine is 2.8 million clean coal tonnes per year.
Employment Cheviot employment for 2005 was approximately 320.
EPEA Approvals Cheviot Creek Pit and Haulroad 46972-00-00 as amended.
Reclamation Involves regrading of capping with cover soil, revegetation with commercial and native seed
technology mixes and planting of tree and shrub seedlings at 2500 stems per hectare.
Reclamation Approximately 400ha have been disturbed to date with about 20ha reclaimed. Reclamation
stats rates will increase shortly as more dump area becomes available for reclamation.
Target land uses Wildlife habitat, fish habitat, some commercial forest, recreation.
Last updated: June 28, 2006

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ELK VALLEY COAL: CARDINAL RIVER OPERATIONS
Cardinal River Operations
Selenium Management Plan
June 2017

1
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0 INTRODUCTION .........................................................................................................................................4

1.1 Conditions in EPEA Approval ......................................................................................................... 4


2.0 SELENIUM MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE TARGETS ................................................................ 5

2.1 McLeod River 4 (MR-4) .................................................................................................................. 6


2.2 McLeod River 6 (MR-6) .................................................................................................................. 6
2.3 McLeod River 9 (MR-9) .................................................................................................................. 7
3.0 SELENIUM MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN ...................................................................................... 11

3.1 Strategies for Managing Selenium ................................................................................................. 11


3.2 Controlling Selenium Releases to MR-4 ....................................................................................... 12
3.3 Controlling Selenium Releases to MR-6 ....................................................................................... 13
3.4 Controlling Selenium Releases to MR-9 ....................................................................................... 13
3.5 Expected Selenium Reduction Outcomes ...................................................................................... 13
4.0 SELENIUM RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ................................................................................. 18

5.0 MONITORING ........................................................................................................................................... 18

5.1 Surface Water Monitoring to Support Selenium Reduction Targets ............................................. 18


5.2 Monitoring to Support Selenium Reduction Targets ..................................................................... 20
5.3 Monitoring To Support Research and Development ..................................................................... 21
6.0 SELENIUM MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE RESULTS ............................................................... 21

6.1 Selenium Trend Assessment .......................................................................................................... 21


6.2 Findings of Site-Based Ecological Risk Assessment of Selenium ................................................ 22
7.0 PATH FORWARD – SELENIUM MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN FOR 2017-2019 ..................... 23

8.0 STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATION AND CONSULTATION SUMMARY ................................. 24

9.0 CONCLUSIONS.......................................................................................................................................... 25

10.0 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................................ 26

2
TABLES

Table 2.1: Median and 90th Percentile Selenium Concentrations for Monitoring.......................................................... 5
Table 2.2: 5-Year Average, 50th, and 90th Percentiles McLeod River Selenium Concentrations .................................. 6
Table 3.1: Selenium Management Actions by Year for MR-4 Sources...................................................................... 14
Table 3.2: Selenium Management Actions by Year for MR-6 Sources....................................................................... 16
Table 3.3: Expected Improvement in Selenium Control for each Management Action .............................................. 17
Table 5.1: Surface Water Monitoring by Discharge Point ........................................................................................... 19
Table 5.2: Environmental Monitoring to Support the ERA ......................................................................................... 20
Table 6.1: Selenium Concentration Averages, Medians and 90th Percentiles .............................................................. 22
Table 7.1: Selenium Management Actions for 2016 -2019 ......................................................................................... 24

FIGURES

Figure 2.1: Overview Map of the McLeod Monitoring Sites ................................................................................ 8


Figure 2.2: Schematic of Upper McLeod Watershed with Sampling Points of MR-1, MR-2, MR-3, and MR-4 ........ 9
Figure 2.3: Schematic of Lower McLeod Watershed with Sampling Points of MR-4, MR-6, and MR-9 ................ 10

APPENDICES

A. Cardinal River Operations Selenium Trend Assessment Summary Figures

3
1.0 INTRODUCTION
Teck has a long history of responsible resource development. Since our company was founded in 1913, we have been
committed to practices that strengthen the sustainability of our company and the regions where we operate. In 2010,
we formalized a sustainability strategy to address the greatest sustainability risks and opportunities facing our business
in six key focus areas. Teck acknowledges water quality as one of these key focus areas.

The 2017 CRO Selenium Management Plan has been adapted from previous versions of Cardinal River Operations
(CRO) plan (CRO, 2005; 2007; 2010; 2011; 2014). The objectives are to meet conditions in Luscar Environmental
Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) Approval #11767-02-00, as amended (Luscar EPEA) and Cheviot EPEA
Approval #46972-01-00, as amended (Cheviot EPEA) and provide: (1) details of selenium attenuation and control
efforts that have been implemented since CRO’s last management plan (January 2014), (2) performance results from
management measures implemented, (3) selenium reduction measures and monitoring programs that are planned for
the next three years, and (4) review of wastewater treatment strategy to control the release of selenium to the upper
McLeod River and other mine affected tributaries.

This plan addresses prioritized site-specific selenium discharge points. It provides details of selenium control measures
at CRO’s Cheviot mine (EPEA Approval #46972) as well as at the Luscar site (EPEA Approval #11767) that have
been implemented within the past three years and are planned for the next three years. The plan uses a risk-based
management approach whereby the risks of selenium discharge are identified and managed to levels that reduce
ecological risk. Using an ecological risk-based approach to manage selenium levels will provide scientific guidance
and prioritization for meaningful decision-making. This is important in the evaluation of mitigation alternatives such
as preventive measures versus active treatment technologies, in relation to objectives or benefits versus additive
environmental costs, risks, or consequences.

Mining and environmental management at CRO follows an adaptive management approach as accepted by the 1997
and 2000 Cheviot Joint Review Panels. The adaptive management approach begins with what is known, with
subsequent investigations, and is guided and adapted as necessary by both the expanding general scientific knowledge
base and site-specific findings. The adaptive management approach stewards to the framework derived and
recommended by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment CCME guidance for environmental quality
guideline derivation (CCME 2007a) and Alberta Environment and Water guidance for site-specific water quality
objectives derivation (AEW 2012).

Teck implemented an applied research and development program in 2012 that is focused on managing selenium and
other constituents in support of effective and economical management plans and to aid in identifying innovative
solutions to mine-affected watershed issues. In addition, assessment and development of mitigation options continues
within Teck and this will continue to add operationally-proven options to our selenium management toolbox.

1.1 Conditions in EPEA Approval


Teck’s CRO is required by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), in Luscar EPEA and Cheviot EPEA, to maintain a
Selenium Management Plan for the upper McLeod River and tributaries.

CRO submitted a plan on January 31, 2011. Condition 2.6.2, of the aforementioned EPEA Approvals, requires the
following to be addressed in the Selenium Management Plan:

 Identification of techniques, best management plans or technologies that will be employed to achieve a
cumulative load reduction of Selenium target within 3 years. This is addressed in Section 3 and Section 4.

4
 A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program to assess the achievement of the load reduction
strategy to determine and direct future monitoring and management on the mine site and evaluate historical
and current cumulative loads (kg/day) to the McLeod River. This is addressed in Section 2 and Section 5.

 A summary of activities conducted annually and information on the strategies, as referenced in 2.6.2 (a), to
be implemented in the year following the year in which the information was reported. This is addressed in
Section 3.

 Any other information requested by the Director.

2.0 SELENIUM MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE TARGETS


Per Condition 2.6.4 in Luscar EPEA Approval and Cheviot EPEA Approval, CRO has been directed by AER to utilize
Table 2.6 of each Approval “as a comparative in achieving cumulative load reduction within 3 years of the date of
authorization”. Table 2.6 is reproduced below as Table 2.1.

Table 2.1: Median and 90th Percentile Selenium Concentrations for Monitoring
Reach(s) McLeod at Mountain McLeod River McLeod River below McLeod River
Park above Cadomin Luscar Creek* below Gregg River
Creek
Site(s) MR-1 MR-4 MR-6 MR-9
Indicator and
Guidelines for most Objective* Objective Objective Objective
sensitive (use)
50th 90th
Total Selenium 50th percentile 90th percentile
percentile percentile
(µg/L)
0.3 0.4 0.5 0.9
th
Target Improve median and 90 percentile
*Objectives are considered interim due to limited period of time

In Table 2.1, AER has recommended the target of improving median and 90th percentiles of total selenium
concentration in 3 years at monitoring stations McLeod River 4 (MR-4), MR-6 and MR-9. CRO’s targets are consistent
with the 3-year time-line at MR-4 and MR-6.

A target for MR-1 has not been developed because it is upstream of CRO’s activities.

Similarly, a target specific to MR-9 has not been developed or adopted by CRO for three reasons:
1. In consideration of the priority placed on the upper McLeod and Luscar Creek drainages, selenium
management actions are focused on sites discharging above MR-4 and MR-6;
2. Selenium data available at MR-9, a Government of Alberta (GOA) monitoring site, are limited and do not
permit an adequate degree of comparison against future management effects;
3. MR-9 receives selenium inputs from Coal Valley Resources’ Gregg River mine, for which CRO has no
responsibility; and
4. CRO will continue to sample two sites along the Gregg River.

5
Subsequent to the Approvals, agreement was reached with regulatory representatives (Alberta Environment and
Sustainable Resrouce Development at the time) that (1) Table 2.6 in the Approval would not be utilized as a regulatory
instrument but rather as a performance measure, and (2) concentration (not loading) was a more appropriate metric of
performance, especially in assessing potential ecological risk.
As per the 2014 Selenium Management Plans, CRO has chosen to use the five-year historic trend and 5-year historic
average as target metrics rather than 50th and 90th percentiles. It is agreed that this is a more transparent and easily
understood/explained metric. Average concentrations summarized in Table 2.2 for MR-4 and MR-6 are used to assess
the cumulative effectiveness of future management actions. The 50 th and 90th percentile have also been included for
comparison. CRO has identified and selected the 5-year period from 2006 to 2010 because it is most representative of
pre-management selenium concentrations. The period of 2006 to 2010 represents an increasing directional trend (prior
to the management actions outlined in the first SMP in 2011), it was viewed as the most appropriate to assess against,
considering the limited period of time available within the operations management period.

Historical trends and results of selenium monitoring studies are discussed in detail in Section 6.0. Regional McLeod
River monitoring locations are shown in Figure 2.1, and authorized discharge points are shown in Figures 2.2 and 2.3.

Table 2.2: 5-Year Average, 50th, and 90th Percentiles McLeod River Selenium Concentrations

Total Selenium Concentrations (µg/L)


MR-1 MR-4 MR-6 MR-9

N Avg. 50th 90th N Avg. 50th 90th N Avg. 50th 90th N Avg. 50th 90th

2006 4 0.6 0.3 1.1 9 0.8 0.7 1.2 9 4.3 4.7 6.0 3 1.8 1.6 2.5

3 0.8 0.4 1.4 2 1.2 1.2 1.3 3 5.2 5.1 5.3 5 1.5 1.5 2.1
2007

2008 5 0.3 0.2 0.6 5 0.6 0.6 0.9 9 5.0 3.9 7.2 5 2.1 2.0 2.8

6 0.7 0.5 1.4 6 1.2 1.1 1.8 5 4.6 5.2 6.5 1 3.4 3.4 3.4
2009
8 0.2 0.2 0.3 12 1.1 1.1 1.5 12 3.6 3.3 6.4 3 1.6 1.5 1.9
2010

5-yr 26 0.5 0.3 1.3 34 1.0 1.0 1.5 38 4.4 4.6 6.2 17 1.8 1.7 2.9

2.1 McLeod River 4 (MR-4)


MR-4 is located on the McLeod River downstream of the Cheviot development (EPEA Approval #46972) and
upstream of the Luscar mine (EPEA Approval #11767). Selenium monitoring at this station represents inputs from
Thornton, Cheviot and Prospect Creeks (active mining until Q2 2015), Harris Creek (active mining commenced in Q1
2014), and Whitehorse Creek (undisturbed). Regarding sources at Cheviot, selenium is predominantly released from
the toe of the Cheviot ex-pit dump seep, Prospect pond (PRPO), Prospect pit backfill deepwell (PC4 Deepwell/PC4(2)
Deepwell) discharge, and Harris pond (HPO) discharge. The Cheviot ex-pit dump seep reports to the EPEA-licensed
Cheviot Settling Pond (CHPO) and is pumped to Cheviot Creek Pit 3. Harris pond discharges to the McLeod River.
Prospect pond and the Prospect deepwells discharge to Prospect Creek, which flows into the McLeod River. Further
details on this location and other sources are available in CRO’s annual Selenium Summary Reports.

2.2 McLeod River 6 (MR-6)


MR-6 is located on the McLeod River, downstream of MR-4 and the Luscar Creek drainage system (approx. 2 km
downstream of the confluence) along Highway 40. It is sampled at the Highway 40 bridge crossing. Selenium in the
Luscar Creek system are from a number of sources including end-pit lakes, waste-rock dump springs, surface run-off,
and groundwater seepage resulting from open pit active mine development which commenced prior to 1970. Selenium

6
sources from this portion of the legacy Luscar mine are cumulatively monitored at Luscar Creek 05 (LUS05) and,
more recently, Luscar Creek 06 (LUS06); whereas data at MR-6 includes both current Cheviot and legacy Luscar
developments.
2.3 McLeod River 9 (MR-9)
MR-9 is a GOA monitoring site located on the McLeod River just downstream of its confluence with the Gregg River.
As such, it is downstream of all discharges from the Cheviot, Luscar, and Gregg River mines. Cheviot and Luscar
mines are operated by CRO while Gregg River mine is operated by Coal Valley Resources Inc.

CRO’s stated areas of focused selenium management are in the upper McLeod and the Luscar Creek watersheds. MR-
4 is the designated monitoring site for the upper McLeod which receives all discharges from the current Cheviot mine
areas, while MR-6 receives all discharges from the Cheviot mine and from discharges in the Luscar Creek watershed
and does not include discharges from the Gregg River. MR-9 is downstream of MR-4 and MR-6.

The overall results of CRO’s selenium management actions in the upper McLeod and in Luscar will be reflected at
MR-9. Any changes in selenium discharge from the Gregg River mine and/or from CRO’s mine areas in the upper
Gregg, Sphinx, and Mary Gregg drainages will also influence selenium at this site. CRO’s selenium monitoring
planned for the Gregg, Sphinx, and Mary Gregg drainages is summarized in Section 5.0.

7
Figure 2.1: Overview Map of the McLeod Monitoring Sites

8
N

MR04

WHITEHORSE CREEK

MR03

PRCK03

PROSPECT CREEK

MCL EOD R IVER


MR02

CHPO

CHEVIOT CREEK

HPO / HRCK2

HARRIS CREEK
TH01 TH02

THORNTON CREEK

MR01

Figure 2.2: Schematic of Upper McLeod Watershed with Sampling Points of MR-1, MR-2, MR-3, and MR-4

9
N

SPHINX CREEK

MR09
SPCK01

SPCK02

GR01 GR02 GR06

GREGG RIVER

MR06

MCL EOD R IVER


B5 SUMP
LUS01 B5 SPRING LPO LUS05 LUS06

LUSCAR CREEK

50B6PO

LDRO LYPO

B6 SPRING EJPO

A4 SPRING A6PO

WEST JARVIS EAST JARVIS LEYLAND


CREEK CREEK CREEK

MR04

Figure 2.3: Schematic of Lower McLeod Watershed with Sampling Points of MR-4, MR-6, and MR-9

10
3.0 SELENIUM MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN
Since the submission of CRO’s previous selenium management plan (April 2014), work has progressed on many
levels for evaluating several different options for the attenuation and control of selenium release. Condition 2.6.2 of
EPEA Approval #11767-02-00 and EPEA Approval #46972-01-00 requires CRO include the following in the Revised
Selenium Management Plan; “Identification of techniques, best management plans or technologies that will be
employed to achieve a cumulative load reduction of Selenium target within 3 years”. The following sections discuss
CRO’s 3-year plan for selenium management at different monitoring stations as mentioned in Table 2.1.

Implementation of preventive measures such as increased backfilling, footprint reduction, and reduction/elimination
of ex-pit dumps may have a direct and significant cost to mining. These efforts might adversely impact mine viability
by affecting parameters such as productivity, unit costs, energy conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, etc. We are
under-taking these efforts because, through monitoring, these actions have resulted in reduced selenium release.

Locations of authorized selenium discharge points discussed in the following subsections for MR-4 and MR-6 are
shown in Figures 2.2 and 2.3.

3.1 Strategies for Managing Selenium


Actions CRO has taken to manage selenium fall under one of several key strategies:

 Selective Water Management


This strategy involves phased water management projects to actively control the direction of wastewater
flows. There are more options for managing wastewater, with relatively higher selenium, in an
established development than in a new one due to the availability of mined-out pits that can potentially
be used for storage or attenuation through use of saturated fills. Predominately utilized on the Luscar
mine, this option of returning wastewater back into a mined-out pit has become more viable at Cheviot
as the first pits have been completely mined out.

 Increase in-pit waste rock disposal and minimize external waste rock dumping.
The goal of this strategy is to maximize sub-aqueous disposal of waste rock in-order to promote
conditions that reduce the oxidation and subsequent release of selenium. It may also result in the
establishment of reducing conditions which can result in the removal of selenium from solution. In
addition, the reduction in the number of ex-pit dumps has important implications as it has reduced the
potential selenium loading available for release from the Cheviot mine. The selective management of pit
water as discussed above also benefits selenium management by taking advantage of these expected
reducing conditions.

 Minimize the development of end pit lakes in the reclaimed landscape.


While end pit lakes may be usable for the in situ reduction of water-borne selenium in certain situations,
it is also desirable to maximize sub-aqueous disposal to minimize oxidation and to possibly develop
anoxic reducing conditions. At this point, we cannot say which scenario is preferable from a selenium
management perspective at a given site. This plan is based on the assumption that both situations can be
used to manage selenium, but that pit backfilling is a preferred scenario.

11
 Progressive reclamation with mine development.
Development of a cover soil, vegetation and re-establishment of streams and drainage reduces infiltration
of precipitation and percolation / seepage through waste rock dumps.

 Avoid construction of external or internal rock drains where possible.

 Maximize clean water diversions.


Use of clean water diversion reduces contact between water and waste rock

 Selective handling of selenium-bearing geologic strata.


The Moosebar formation is a marine-based shale bed geologically underlying the coal-bearing unit. In
the preliminary assessments of total selenium concentrations in geologic strata, the Moosebar formation
is reported as containing and potentially releasing higher concentrations of selenium than other strata. It
is not encountered in significant volumes in the Cheviot Creek or Prospect pits, but in the McLeod-
Harris development this formation has been thrust above the coal and therefore a small volume,
approximately 3% of the total waste rock, will be handled.

 Treatment
Research and development of treatment methods that are effective in reducing selenium concentrations
in mine discharge waters is currently on-going within Teck. Conclusions from these efforts indicate that
two types of technologies are the most promising at this point: passive, such as in situ (end pit lake or
backfilled pit), and active treatment. Besides use of passive treatment options such as backfilled pits and
current pilot projects for (e.g. passive biochemical reactor at Leyland Pond), CRO has no plans at this
time to construct full scale active treatment facilities. It is the intention of CRO, as outlined in this plan,
to integrate selenium management into its core business values and day-to-day activities to successfully
manage release of selenium.

 Research and Development


On-going research and studies continue to take place at both CRO and within Teck to improve our
understanding on the mechanisms of selenium release and attentuation, the risk to the downstream
environments, and to further develop and refine management options, technologies and strategies. As
information becomes available, learnings will be incorporated into CRO’s management plan and actions.

3.2 Controlling Selenium Releases to MR-4


Selenium associated with activities at the Cheviot mine are measured downstream at MR-4. CRO has reported on the
actions being taken at the Cheviot mine to prevent selenium release in previous submissions – the McLeod-Harris
application of January 2010, the revised selenium management plan of 2014, and annual Selenium Summary Reports
were the most recent documents. It was also explained in these documents that measures being taken in the Cheviot
operations focus on prevention rather than treatment, for three reasons. First, the ongoing nature of the Cheviot mining
operation provides many opportunities for the implementation of preventive actions; second, treatment technologies
are typically intensive and high-cost by nature and are therefore most effectively used at priority sites where the highest
selenium loadings/concentrations are being released. Selenium discharges from the Cheviot operations are an order of
magnitude less than many of those at the Luscar operation, so source control or mitigation would be considered first
at Luscar rather than Cheviot. And third, the 2013 ecological risk assessment (ERA) identified the upper McLeod as

12
currently having negligible risk of ecological effects from selenium (Windward, 2010 and 2013), with the qualifying
statement that increasing trends in selenium must be considered in any assessment of future risk.

Actions that have been identified for selenium control, the site strategy it relates to, and expected benefits are discussed
below in Table 3.1. Further actions will be identified and implemented over the next 3 years as plans are developed –
changes in the implementation of actions will be updated in CRO’s annual reports. Since mining in Cheviot, CRO’s
focus is to continually assess trends and begin planning long-term strategy if trends begin to rise.

3.3 Controlling Selenium Releases to MR-6


Selenium at MR-6 reflects all active mining activities in the Cheviot developments and water discharges from CRO’s
waste-rock dumps at the legacy Luscar site. Similar to CRO’s selenium management actions for MR-4, preventive
measures were identified for a three year period (2013 – 2016) for the Luscar site and are identified in Table 3.2.

Identification of new and innovative actions for selenium control is an ongoing process over the next three years.
Changes in the implementation of actions will be updated in CRO’s annual Selenium Management Update reports.

Over the next three years, CRO will evaluate, through research and selective water management, way to reduce the
trend in Luscar Creek, thus continuing the reducing trend at MR-6.

3.4 Controlling Selenium Releases to MR-9


Results of CRO’s selenium management actions in the upper McLeod and Luscar Creek are reflected at MR-4 and
MR-6, and therefore also at MR-9. The only actions that could affect MR-9 which would not also affect MR-4 and
MR-6 involve reclamation in the 50-A-North and 51-C Baseline areas. These reclamation activities will improve
surface water drainage and reduce water infiltration into reclaimed waste rock dumps, CRO submitted a long-range
conceptual reclamation plan for these areas in October of 2010 (Luscar EPEA Renewal Application), and a detailed
3-year reclamation plan in March of 2017.

3.5 Expected Selenium Reduction Outcomes


Management strategies identified above are intended to result in reductions in overall selenium concentrations. Some
of these improvements will result in a lower rate of increase than if the action hadn’t been taken, such as the elimination
of an ex-pit dump, and some of the improvements will result in a net decrease in loading, such as re-routing existing
A6 Lake outflow around the ex-pit dump. Table 3.3 summarizes the expected influence on selenium from each
management action identified above. The cumulative results of these actions are reported in Section 6.0. It must also
be noted that the coal mining in progress at the Cheviot mine continues to produce 25-30 million banked cubic meters
of waste rock annually and this increasing cumulative volume has the potential to increase selenium loading. Our
management strategies are intended to decrease the net loadings at the Cheviot and Luscar mine, resulting in a net
decrease in concentrations at MR-6, within the 3-year time period.

13
Table 3.1: Selenium Management Actions by Year for MR-4 Sources

Year Planned Action Strategy Projected Benefit Status

In 2003/04 upper Thornton and upper Cheviot ex-pit dumps were eliminated Completed

In 2006 and 2009 Prospect Southwest and Northeast dumps were eliminated Increase in-pit waste rock disposal and minimize external waste rock dumping Reduced ex-pit storage of waste rock is expected to result in less selenium release Completed

In 2009 the lower Thornton ex-pit dump was eliminated Completed


Waste rock backfilled into flooded pits is expected to release less selenium than waste
In 2006 two end pit lakes were eliminated in the Prospect reclaimed landscape Minimize development of end pit lakes Completed
Prior to rock disposed in ex-pit dumps
2010 In 2004, Cheviot and Thornton creeks were diverted around pit development Maximize clean water diversions. Completed

In 2009, two tributaries of Prospect Creek were diverted around pit development Maximize clean water diversions. Reduced contact between clean water and waste rock is expected to decrease selenium Completed
release.
From 2004 to 2011, groundwater in CC pits was pumped in advance of pit development Maximize clean water diversions. Completed

Re-sloping, positive drainage and soil covering on 20 ha in Cheviot ex-pit dump Progressive reclamation with mine development Reduced air and water infiltration into waste rock will decrease selenium leaching Completed

In 2011, Prospect pit water was directed to backfilled CC pits Completed


Saturated backfill created in Prospect South pit
Se loading from this source is ended for short term, with potential for in-pit se reduction
In 2011, Prospect South pit water was kept in-pit and/or directed to CC3 backfilled pit. Selective water management and pumped to Prospected Creek via license
prior to out-flow
dewatering wells
In 2011, Prospect North pit water was pumped to Prospect South pit Completed

In 2010 the Powerhouse Creek ex-pit dump was eliminated Increase in-pit waste rock disposal and minimize external waste rock dumping Reduced ex-pit storage of waste rock will tend to result in less selenium release Completed

In 2010 the plan for an end pit lake in CC3 was eliminated; waste rock from Prospect Pit Minimize the development of end pit lakes; Increase in-pit waste rock disposal and Waste rock backfilled into pits will tend to release less selenium than waste rock
End-pit lake eliminated; saturated backfill created
and McLeod Pit transported to backfill CC3 minimize external waste rock dumping disposed in ex-pit dumps
2010 - 2011
Se loading from this source is ended for short term, with potential for in-pit se reduction
In late 2010, pit pumps in CC3 were shut down. Selective water management Completed.
prior to out-flow
In 2011, groundwater in the McLeod pit pumped around the pit in advance of pit
Option not available
development
Maximize clean water diversions. Reduced contact between clean water and waste rock will decrease selenium leaching
In 2010 & 2011, groundwater in Prospect South pit was pumped in advance of pit
Completed
development
In 2010, re-sloping, positive drainage and soil covering on 35 ha in Cheviot ex-pit dump
Completed
and CC4
Progressive reclamation with mine development Reduced air and water infiltration into waste rock will decrease selenium leaching
In 2011, re-sloping, positive drainage and soil capping on 30 ha in CC4/5 and CC2 Completed

McLeod pit water will be pumped to backfilled CC1 McLeod pit water was pumped to backfilled CC1

Se loading from this source is ended for short term, with potential for in-pit Se reduction Prospect Pond was diverted to CC3; outflow
Prospect Pond diverted to CC3 Selective water management
prior to out-flow eliminated
System installed and outflow from Cheviot Pond
2012 Divert Cheviot Pond waste water to CC3 during ice free season
reduced
Worley-Parsons ex-pit dump planning report Increase in-pit waste rock disposal and minimize external waste rock dumping Assisted in assessing options for Harris ex-pit dump. Completed

In-pit disposal of Moosebar shales from McLeod pit Selective handling of selenium-bearing geologic strata Reduced ex-pit storage of high Se waste rock will tend to result in less selenium release On-going

McLeod pit water will be pumped to backfilled CC1 McLeod pit water was pumped to backfilled CC1
Se loading from this source is ended for short term, with potential for in-pit Se reduction
Selective water management Cheviot Pond diverted to CC3; outflow from
Divert Cheviot Pond waste water to CC3 prior to out-flow
pond eliminated during fall and winter seasons

Harris Creek diverted around Harris pit and dump Maximize clean water diversions Reduced contact between clean water and waste rock will decrease selenium leaching Construction initiated; to be completed 2014
2013
Se loading from this source is reduced for short term, with potential for in-pit se Pump system installed; outflow eliminated except
Divert PCSE waste water to CC3 via Cheviot Pond. Selective water management
reduction prior to out-flow during storm events

In-pit disposal of Moosebar shales from McLeod pit Selective handling of selenium-bearing geologic strata Reduced ex-pit storage of high-Se waste rock will tend to result in less selenium release On-going

14
Clean water diversion for Harris tributaries 1, 2
Complete Harris North clean water diversion Maximize clean water diversions Reduced contact between clean water and waste rock will decrease selenium leaching and 3 completed and moving clean water around
active mining to the McLeod River
McLeod pit water was pumped to backfilled CC1
McLeod pit water will be pumped to backfilled CC1
for all of 2014
2014 Se loading from this source is ended for short term, with potential for in-pit se reduction
Divert Cheviot Pond waste water to CC3 Selective water management Cheviot Pond diverted to CC3 for all of 2014
prior to out-flow
Modifications to Cheviot pond outflow culvert to reduce potential discharge Completed in 2014
Divert Prospect Southeast Pond waste water to CC3 via Cheviot pond Continue through all of 2014
Continue with pit backfill activities in existing (McLeod) and developing (Harris) areas Continue through all of 2014; 1.6 million BCM’s
Selective handling of selenium-bearing geologic strata Reduced ex-pit storage of high-Se waste rock will tend to result in less selenium release
where feasible of waste rock disposed in-pit
Completed through all of 2015, specifically when
Selective handlings of waste rock used in construction of Harris ex-pit dump Selective handling of selenium-bearing geologic strata Reduced ex-pit storage of high-Se waste rock will tend to result in less selenium release
dumping over Harris Creek channel
Clean water diversion for all tributaries (1-4)
2015 Complete Harris North clean water diversion Maximize clean water diversions Reduced contact between clean water and waste rock will decrease selenium leaching completed and actively pumping to the McLeod
River around active mining
Continue with pit backfill activities in existing (McLeod) and developing (Harris) areas 2.2 million BCM’s of waste rock disposed into
Selective handling of selenium-bearing geologic strata Reduced ex-pit storage of high-Se waste rock will tend to result in less selenium release
where feasible the McLeod pit.
Prospect pond and Powerhouse pond were both
Reduced runoff water infiltration, resulting in less selenium release to surrounding decommissioned in 2016, ponds were filled in
Ongoing reclamation Progressive reclamation with mine development
watersheds and sloping was completed reducing and
eliminating discharge.
Monitoring system for inflows and outflows to
CC3 backfilled pit was enhanced with
electromagnetic flow meters on pipelines
2016 Continued evaluation of saturated backfill performance and options for enhancement as Optimize selenium loading at discharge points. Effluent treatment for other contaminants
Selective water management (Thornton outflows and Cheviot pond to CC3) ,
part of Teck’s Watershed R&D efforts. may also be needed.
flume installation at the Cheviot Creek clean
water diversion, and water level loggers on key
groundwater wells
5 million BCM’s of waste rock disposed into the
Continue with pit backfill activities in existing (McLeod) and developing (Harris) areas
Selective handling of selenium-bearing geologic strata Reduced ex-pit storage of high-Se waste rock will tend to result in less selenium release McLeod pit and 2.6 BCM’s of waste rock
where feasible
disposed into Harris pit.

15
Table 3.2: Selenium Management Actions by Year for MR-6 Sources

Year Action Strategy Projected Benefit Status


Reduced contact of water with waste
Extension of dewatering
rock will result in less selenium
pipe from A4 pit to Selective water management Completed
release. Selenium concentration in
2010- Luscar Lake
Luscar Lake will decrease
2011
Clean Water Diversion Diverting clean water from A6 to West
from A6 Lake to West Selective water management Jarvis Creek will reduce selenium Completed
Jarvis Creek loading
Installed new monitoring
Research and development Year round flow data of Luscar Creek Completed
station (LUS06)
2012 Reduced runoff water infiltration,
Progressive reclamation with mine
C-Base Reclamation resulting in less selenium released to Completed
development
Mary Gregg Creek.

Will reduce demand for cleaner water System installed and


B6 as Plant Process Water
Selective water management for plant. Clean water will be diverted tested; commissioning
Source
to natural environment planned for 2014.

2013

Assess the ecological risk of selenium


Update ERA (2010) Research and development Completed
in downstream environments.
High selenium water from Detailed engineering and
Will prevent high selenium water from
A4 Spring to West Jarvis Selective water management construction planned for
flowing into Luscar Lake.
Pond in 2014.
Reduced runoff water infiltration,
Ongoing Reclamation reduced runoff
2014 Reclamation Plan resulting in less selenium released to Completed
water infiltration
the Gregg River system
2014

Operation of B6 to Plant Operation of B6 to Plant Operation of B6 to Plant Completed

Reduced runoff water infiltration,


Ongoing reclamation reduced runoff
2015 2015 Reclamation Plan resulting in less selenium released to Completed
water infiltration
the Gregg River system
Reduced runoff water infiltration,
Ongoing reclamation reduced runoff
2016 2016 Reclamation Plan resulting in less selenium released to Completed
water infiltration
the Gregg River system

16
Table 3.3: Expected Improvement in Selenium Control for each Management Action
Year effect Site
Action Projected Effect
begins Affected
MR-4 &
2011 Powerhouse Creek ex-pit dump Minimize increasing trend in Se in Upper McLeod
MR-6
MR-4 & Potentially minimizes increasing trend in Se in upper
2011 CC3 end pit lake eliminated
MR-6 McLeod
MR-4 & Re-sloping, positive drainage and soil covering on
2011 Minimize increasing trend in Se in Upper McLeod
MR-6 30 ha in CC4/CC5 and CC2
MR-4 & Re-sloping, positive drainage and soil capping in Net reduction in Se at CHPO and MR-2, at least until pit
2011
MR-6 Cheviot ex-pit dump and CC4/CC5. spills
Extension of dewatering pipe from A4 pit to Luscar
2011 MR-6 Net reduction in Se in Luscar Creek
Lake
Clean water diversion from A6 Lake to West Jarvis Net reduction at A6PO, West Jarvis Creek and Luscar
2011 MR-6
Creek Creek.
MR-4 & CC3 pump shut down, Prospect pit water directed to Net reduction in Se at CHPO and MR-2, at least until pit
2011
MR-6 backfilled CC pits spills
MR-4 &
2012 McLeod pit water pumped to backfilled CC1 Minimize increasing trend in Se in Upper McLeod
MR-6
MR-4 &
2012 McLeod pit water will be pumped to backfilled CC1 Minimize increasing trend in Se in Upper McLeod
MR-6
MR-4 &
2012 Prospect South pit water kept in-pit Minimize increasing trend in Se in Prospect Creek
MR-6
MR-4 & Prospect North pit water pumped to Prospect South
2012 Minimize increasing trend in Se in Prospect Creek
MR-6 pit
2012 MR-6 B6 Lake to Process Plant Waterline Net reduction at Luscar Creek

High selenium water from A4 Spring to West Jarvis Maintains benefit of Luscar Creek Headwater
2012 MR-6
Pond Restoration

2013 MR-6 Luscar Creek Headwater Restoration Net reduction in Se in Luscar Creek

Cheviot pond pipeline to CC3 Saturated backfill


MR-4 &
2013 ceasing outflow from Cheviot pond to the McLeod Net reduction in Se release
MR-6
River
MR-6 &
2013 Waste rock dump reclamation Net reduction in Se release
MR-9
MR-4 & Net reduction in Se at CHPO and MR-2, at least until pit
2013 Prospect North water stored in-pit
MR-6 spills
MR-4 &
2014 Harris Creek diverted around Harris pit and dump Minimize increasing trend in Se in Upper McLeod
MR-6
MR-4 & Haul Road pumping systems to CC3 backfill via
2015 Minimize increasing trend in Se in Upper McLeod
MR-6 Cheviot pond
MR-4 &
2016 In-pit water to McLeod Backfill and CC3 Minimize increasing trend in Se in Upper McLeod
MR-6

17
4.0 SELENIUM RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Teck has implemented an applied research and development (R&D) program focused on managing constituents of interest
(CIs), including but not limited to selenium (Se), in mining affected watersheds. Components of the program support
development of effective and economical management plans, and aid in identifying innovative solutions to mine-affected
watershed issues.

Technologies and techniques being advanced fall into