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 Nova Scotia Environment and Labour

APPROVAL 2006-051995

Province of Nova Scotia Environment Act, S.N.S. 1994-95, c.1

Proponent:        Pioneer Coal Limited

Effective Date:  September 12, 2006

Expiry Date:      September 12, 2013

Pursuant to Part V of the Environment Act, S.N.S. 1994-95, c.1 as amended from time to time, approval is granted to the Proponent subject to the Terms and Conditions attached to and forming part of this Approval, for the following activity:

Construction and operation of a Surface Coal Mine and Reclamation Project, and associated works, at or near Point Aconi, Cape Breton County, in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Administrator

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NS Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule A - Page 1 To Approval 2006-051995

Site Description

a) The facility is outlined in yellow as highlighted in:

Tab 2            an addendum to Schedule A - Figure 1-2 titled "Existing Site Features"

and includes stockpile locations as outlined in:

Tab 17            Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document Figure 11-1 titled "Mining Sequence"

b) Existing site features related to former CBDC's Prince Mine site as noted on:

Tab 2                                             An addendum to Schedule A - Figure 1-2 titled "Existing Site Features".

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule B - Page 1

to Approval 2006-051995

Definitions

a)         "Abandonment" means cessation of mining of coal for a period of twelve (12) months.

b)         "Act" means the Environment Act S.N.S. 1994-1995, c.1 and includes all regulations made pursuant to the Act.

c)         "Active Area" means the area required to operate the site and includes the working face and associated works.

d)         "Associated works" means any building, structure, processing facility, pollution abatement system or stockpiles .

e}         "Disturbed Area" means any area on a site that has been stripped of vegetation and is susceptible to erosion

f)          "Facility" means the Surface Coal Mine & Reclamation Project and associated works.

9)

"Structure" includes but is not limited to a private home, a cottage, an apartment building, a school, a church, a commercial building or a treatment facility associated with the treatment of municipal sewage, industrial or

landfill effluent, an industrial building, infrastructure or construction, a hospital, and a nursing home, etc.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule C - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995

Scope of Approval

a)         This Approval (the "Approval") relates to the Proponent and their application to construct and operate the Facility, situated at or near Point Aconi, Cape Breton Regional Municipality (the "Site").

b)         The Facility shall be constructed and operated as outlined in the application for industrial approval dated May 11, 2006 , and supporting documentation and such other documentation that may be submitted from time to time in accordance with this approval.

The Site shall not exceed the area as outlined in the application and supporting documentation and such other documentation that may be submitted from time to time in accordance with this approval.

d)         If the work authorized by this Approval is not commenced within a year of the effective date of issuance, this Approval shall automatically be null and void, unless extended in writing by an Administrator.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule D - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995

General Terms and Conditions

a)         The Proponent shall construct, operate and reclaim its Facility in accordance with provisions of the:

i)        Environment Act S.N.S. 1994-1995, c.1;

ii)         Regulations pursuant to the above Act;

iii)        Any future amendments to the Act and regulations

b)         No authority is granted by this Approval to enable the Proponent to construct, operate and reclaim the Facility on lands which are not in the control or ownership of the Proponent. It is the responsibility of the Proponent to

ensure that such a contravention does not occur. The Proponent shall provide, to the Department, proof of such control or ownership upon expiry of any relevant lease or agreement. Failure to retain said authorization will result in this Approval being null and void.

c)         If there is a discrepancy between the reference documents and the terms and conditions of this Approval, the terms and conditions of this Approval shall apply.

The Proponent shall notify the Department prior to any proposed extensions or modifications of the Facility, including the active area, process changes or waste disposal practices which are not granted under this Approval. An Approval will be required before implementing any change. Extensions or modifications to the Facility may be subject to the Environmental Assessment Regulations.

The Proponent shall immediately notify the Department of any incidents of non-compliance with this Approval.

The Proponent shall bear all expenses incurred in carrying out the environmental monitoring required under the terms and conditions of this Approval.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule D - Page 2 to Approval 2006-051995

General Terms and Conditions (continued)

9)

Unless specified otherwise in this Approval, all samples required to be collected by this Approval shall be collected, preserved and analysed, by qualified personnel, in accordance with recognized industry standards and procedures.

h)         All samples required by this Approval shall be analysed by a laboratory that is:

i)          Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada; or

Accredited by another agency recognized by the Nova Scotia Environment and Labour to be equivalent to the Standards Council of Canada; or

iii)        Maintaining an acceptable standard in a proficiency testing program conducted by the Canadian Association for Environmental Analytical Laboratories for all parameters being reported; or

iv)        Maintaining an acceptable standard in a proficiency or performance testing in another program considered acceptable to the Nova Scotia Environment and Labour for all parameters being reported

i)          The Proponent shall ensure that this Approval, or a copy, is kept on Site at all times and that personnel directly involved in the Facility operation are made fully aware of the terms and conditions which pertain to this Approval.

The Proponent shall ensure that the Terms & Conditions of the Environmental Assessment Approval issued December 28, 2005 under Part IV of the Environment Act are adhered to.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule E - Page 1

to Approval 2006-051995

Construction of Facility

The proponent shall provide proof of surface rights and/or access rights to the Department, prior to any activity within the prescribed footprint as described in:

Tab 2 -            Schedule A - "Site Plan" - Figure 1-2

b) i       All erosion and sedimentation controls shall be in place prior to construction at this Facility as described in the following:

Tab 16 -          "Surface Coal Mine and Reclamation Project - Prince Mine Point Aconi, Nova Scotia Volume 1" - section 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 Tab 17 -          "Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document" - Appendix B - Environmental Protection Plan - sections 2.2, 3.2, 4.3

The Nova Scotia Environment and Labour "Erosion and Sedimentation Control Handbook For Construction Sites" shall serve as the reference document for all erosion control measures.

All erosion and sedimentation controls shall be maintained and remain in place until the disturbed areas are stabilized.

The proponent shall ensure all site water, surface drainage and excavation pumping is managed as described in:

Tab 17-           "Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document" - section 4 - figure 4-1.

e)         The proponent shall monitor the rise of the water levels in the underground mine workings and provide a copy of the monitoring results to the Department on an annual basis from the effective date of the Approval.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule E - Page 2 to Approval 2006-051995

Construction of Facilities         -continued

f)          When the water level in the mine workings reach an elevation of 300 feet below sea level, the proponent shall notify NSEL in writing and submit a contingency plan for acceptance by NSEL. The contingency plan shall be submitted within 90 days of written notice to the Department. The contingency plan shall describe operational procedures for the control and treatment of site and mine water and such other items as required by the Department.

Coal extraction activities shall not commence until the baseline data for surface water, groundwater, blasting and wetlands have been submitted, in writing, to the Department and deemed to be satisfactory to the Department.

h)         The proponent shall provide reports on the status and or results of the programs as offered in (b) and (c) of this Schedule at a frequency to be established by the Department once the operational phase commences.

i)          Appropriate signage including the hours of operation, emergency telephone numbers and contacts shall be posted and maintained at the entrance to the Facility.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule F - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995

Particulate Emissions (Dust)

a)         Particulate emissions shall not exceed the limits set out in the Air Quality Regulations made under Section 112 of the Environment Act S.N.S. 1994-95, c.1., O.I.C. 95-294 (April 11, 1995), N.S. Reg.55/95.

b)         The generation of fugitive dust from the site shall be suppressed by the application of water sprays, or the application of other suitable dust suppressants approved by the Department.

c)         Site access road(s) shall be maintained to minimize dust generation. The use of used oil is not permitted.

d)         Monitoring of particulate emissions shall be conducted as described in:

Tab 16 -          "Surface Coal Mine and Reclamation Project - Prince Mine Site Point Aconi, Nova Scotia VQlume 1 ", section 6.4.2.1

Tab 17 -          "Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document" Appendix B - sections 2.4, 3.1 and 3.2 and Figure 3-1

e)                                                    The proponent shall provide an annual report to the Department from the effective date of the Approval and make available the sampling results to the Department upon request.

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule G - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995

Sound Levels

a)         Sound levels measured at the Site property boundaries shall not exceed the following equivalent sound levels (Leq):

Leq     65 dBA 0700-1900 hours (Days)

60 dBA 1900-2300 hours (Evenings) 55 dBA 2300-0700 hours (Nights)

b)         Monitoring of sound levels shall be conducted as described in:

Tab 16 -          "Surface Coal Mine and Reclamation Project - Prince Mine Site Point Aconi, Nova Scotia Volume 1, Section 4.2 and Section 6.3.2.2;

Tab 17 -          "Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document" - section 8 and Appendix B - Environmental Protection Plan - section 2.5, 3.1 and Figure 3 -1.

c)                                                    The proponent shall provide an annual report to the Department from the effective date of the Approval and make available the sampling results to the Department upon request.

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule H - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995

Blasting

a)         The Proponent shall have a technical blast design prepared by a qualified person.

b)         The proponent shall have the blast design for each blast event reviewed by an independent third party. The results of the independent third party review shall be provided to the Department prior to proceeding with each blast event.

c)         The Proponent shall conduct a pre-blast survey in accordance with the "Pre-Blast Survey form" attached as an addendum to this Schedule H and this survey shall be completed prior to any blasting on the site. The proponent shall make the

information available to the NSEL upon request.

d)         The Proponent shall call the nearest weather office to assess the climatic conditions prior to conducting any blasting. No blasting will be permitted if a thermal inversion is anticipated by Environment Canada at the time of the proposed blast.

e)         No blasting shall occur on a Sunday or on a statutory holiday prescribed by the Province, or on any day between 1800 and 0800 hours without prior written approval of the Department.

f)          The Proponent shall submit to the Department a procedure to ensure all residents within the pre-blast survey area are notified prior to each blast.

g)         The Proponent shall ensure that all blasts are monitored for air concussion and ground-vibration to ensure that the following limits are not exceeded:

Air Concussion 128 dBA

Ground Vibration 12.5 mm/s (0.5 in./sec.) Peak Particle Velocity

h)         The proponent shall monitor all blasts for the parameters in (g) at the closest residential structure to the blast site.

A summary of results of monitoring shall be provided to the Department within 24 hours following each blast event.

,

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule I - Page 1

to Approval 2006-051995

 

Groundwater

a)         The proponent shall follow the groundwater monitoring program in accordance with the attached addendum to this Schedule I - titled "Groundwater".

b)         The proponent shall ensure all work completed regarding the domestic well survey conforms to the Domestic Well Survey Plan and form attached as an addendum to this Schedule ( - titled "Domestic Well Water Survey Form"

c)         The proponent shall handle complaints as described in the attached addendum to this Schedule I - titled "Pioneer Coal Water Supply Policy".

d)         The proponent shall record all complaints received and document the response to each complaint. These records shall be provided to the Department in summary form on a quarterly basis from the effective date of the Approval. In addition, the proponent shall provide a copy of any requested record(s) upon request by an inspector of the Department.

e)         The proponent shall provide an annual report to the Department from the effective date of the Approval on the groundwater monitoring program for the site and domestic wells. The report shall include an interpretation of the

results as prepared by Professional Engineer or Professional Geo-scientist.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule J - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995

Transportation of Coal

a)         The proponent shall adhere to the information described in:

Tab 16 -          "Surface Coal mine and Reclamation Project - Prince Mine Site - Point Aconi, Nova Scotia Volume 1" - section 3.3.5 and section 6.5.4.6

Tab 17 -          "Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document" - section 10, and figure 10-1

b)         The proponent shall ensure all trucks transporting coal are fitted with tarpaulins for mitigating release of fugitive coal fines from the trucks.

c)         The transportation of coal from the site shall be limited to the time between 0700 hours and 1800 hours, Monday to Saturday unless prior written approval is first obtained by the proponent from the Department.

d)         All trucks shall be clean and free of loose coal fines or debris prior to leaving the site.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule K - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995

Wetlands

a)         The proponent shall abide by the information described in:

Tab 17 -          "Industrial Approval Application Supporting Documentation" - Section 6 and figure 6-1

The proponent shall ensure no alteration to the wetlands shall take place until all requirements by NSDNR, Wildlife Division and this Department have been satisfied. The proponent shall not commence work on any wetland until written confirmation is received by the proponent from the Department.

The proponent shall provide a bond in the value of the wetland restoration work to the Department. The wetland restoration shall be completed as identified in the wetland compensation plan and to the requirements of-NSDNR and the Department.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule L - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995

Rehabilitation

a)         The proponent shall post a security in a form acceptable to Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and in the amount as required by NSDNR .

b)         The proponent shall ensure that the Department's "Guide to Surface Coal Mine Reclamation Plans" and as amended from time to time is adhered to as part of the site reclamation activities.

The Proponent shall ensure the progressive rehabilitation plan as described in

Tab 16 -          Surface Coal Mine and Reclamation Project- Prince Mine Site Point Aconi, Nova Scotia Volume 1 - section 7.3 and section 7.3.2

Tab 17 -          Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document -section 11.3, 12.0 and 12.1; and Figures 11 -1, and 12-1.

The rehabilitation plan shall be revised and updated every third year from the effective date of the approval and submitted to the Department for review and approval by the Department,

d)         The Department reserves the right to impose additional bonding requirements as may be required by the Department.

e)         Upon cessation of coal extraction operations, the proponent shall apply for an approval to commence final reclamation of the site.

The Proponent shall deal with the reinstatement of Mill Pond Road in consultation with the Department of Transportation and Public Works as part of the final reclamation of the site.

9)

Infrastructure that existed as part of the Cape Breton Development Corporation's (CBDC) operations shall be removed and the area reclaimed as part of the planned reclamation activities for the site associated with this approval.

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule M - Page 1

to Approval 2006-051995

Site Specific Conditions

a) ,       The boundaries of the Site shall be cut out and kept clear of new growth and the corner boundaries shall be clearly marked with permanent markers no less than four feet high prior to commencement of operations.

b)         The proponent shall ensure the contaminated soil management plan is strictly adhered to as described in :

Tab 17 -          "Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document" - Appendix B - "Environmental Protection Plan" - section 4.5. and in Appendix B of Appendix B titled - Spill Contingency Plan

c)         The proponent shall provide an annual report from the effective date of the Approval to the Department describing the status of the activity which has occurred as result of the contaminated soil management plan.

d)         The stockpiles shall contain any available topsoil from the site, common material, and rock. Stockpile #2 shall contain materials excavated from the adjacent wetland. Stockpile #2 materials shall be kept separate within the stockpile to allow for proper reinstatement of materials.

e)         Pioneer Coal shall provide a survey plan to the Department that clearly identifies items identified in:

Tab 14            Schedule M - Site Specific Conditions - item (a) and in addition includes stockpile areas, mining areas, and existing CBDC infrastructure on site.

The survey plan as noted in (e) shall be submitted to the Department 90 calendar days from the effective date of the Approval.

Expiry Date

This Approval shall be valid for a period of seven years from the date of issuance.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule N - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995

Record

Type

Date

Schedules Affected

1. Issuance of Approval

September 12, 2006

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L,M, N

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