A Summary of Land Resource and Groundwater Issues Related to Plains Coal Mine Reclamation in Alberta

Daphne Cheel
Stephen Moran
Mark Trudell
Don Thacker
Terry Macyk
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Development and extraction of coal resources in Alberta disrupts the landscape and alters two other important resources, land and groundwater. In order to support coal resource development that was economically and environmentally responsible, the Reclamation Research Technical Advisory Committee (RRTAC) of the Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council, in consultation with the coal industry, since the late 1970's, guided research into plains coal reclamation. The results of this research program are published in 36+ RRTAC reports and numerous other papers in scientific journals and proceedings of scientific meetings. This report synthesizes and summarizes this body of research in a manner that is designed to provide the user with a unified source of information on reclamation research in the plains of Alberta. The body of the report is separated into two main sections. The first section addresses questions that apply to the land resource, such as soil reconstruction, compaction, subsidence, and salinity. The second section addresses questions that apply to the groundwater resource, such as local and regional groundwater impacts, landscape impacts, and surface and groundwater contamination potential.