A Multi-stakeholder Approach for Developing Mine Reclamation Guidelines

Tanya Richens
Steve Tuttle
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The Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) is a multi-stakeholder organisation that is a key advisor to the provincial and federal governments and is committed to respectful, inclusive dialogue to make recommendations for the management of the cumulative environmental effects of industrial development on air, land, water and biodiversity in the Athabasca oil sands region. There are five working groups within CEMA: the Reclamation Working Group (RWG), Land Working Group, Surface Water Working Group, Air Working Group, and Groundwater Working Group. The RWG produces and maintains guidance documents that provide recommendations regarding mine reclamation practices. These guidance documents steward towards the overall goal that reclaimed landscapes meet regulatory requirements, satisfy the needs and values of stakeholders, and are environmentally sustainable. RWG focuses on soil salvage and placement practices, revegetation activities, development of reclaimed wetlands and end pit lakes, and the integration of closure landscapes within the region. RWG, through the CEMA Board, submits the guidance documents as recommendations to the provincial government. This paper describes the history and structure of RWG, including a brief description of the sub-groups and the task groups that report to RWG. We review the list of recommendations made to government by the group, including how they are currently used or are expected to be used within the regulatory process. Information regarding current projects that support the update of existing guidelines or development of new guidelines is also reviewed (including end pit lake guidance and reclamation certification criteria and indicators).