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Part D: Environment | 38. Environment

In the context of mineral extraction, environmental statutes and regulations address the impact of a mining operation on the environment and human health and safety. In general, environmental statutes and regulations should address potential pollution of the environment (including air, soil, surface water or groundwater or subsurface strata), protection of natural resources or endangered or threatened species, human health and safety, including occupational safety, the investigation and remediation of pollutants and hazardous materials, and the protection of cultural heritage. More specifically, environmental laws should address the following:

  • Establishment of environmental management tools and standards such as pre-project environmental impact assessments and management plans to inform policy makers of the potential environmental impacts of the mining operation and establish a framework for managing those concerns during and after the project.
  • Preservation of archaeological objects and cultural heritage.
  • Identification, management and disposal of hazardous waste and materials extracted or produced by the mining operation.
  • Conservation and protection of flora and fauna impacted by the mining operation, including habitats and ecosystems.
  • Requirements and standards for mining operations to protect human health and safety.
  • Provisions covering the investigation and remediation of pollutants discharged into air, soil and groundwater to expedite clean-up and minimize adverse impacts to the environment.
  • Standards establishing reclamation obligations for land disturbed by mining operations.
  • Mechanisms for the enforcement of, and addressing non-compliance with, environmental standards for mining operations.