Air is one of our key sustainability focus areas and we have implemented several air quality initiatives across our operations, including at our steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley of British Columbia. We know that a proactive approach for managing dust to protect air quality is critical.
As part of this approach, we established a Regional Air Working Group with representatives from each of our operations in the Elk Valley and from our environmental and social responsibility team in Sparwood. The dust management program, led by the Regional Air Working Group, includes, but is not limited to, road suppressant and pit watering, hydroseeding and wind fencing. Our Elkview Operations in the Elk Valley also purchased a new water truck in 2017, which was fitted with a mister system for improved watering on waste rock piles, the primary source of visible dust to the community.
Enhanced monitoring programs are being evaluated in order to develop triggers to alter activities at the mine site in case of dusting events. If any activities are perceived to create too much dust, the activities can be modified or suspended to minimize dust generation. In order to keep the communities of the Elk Valley informed on the current state of dust management, air quality, and continual improvement opportunities, site employees regularly engage in public outreach activities to share information with residents about dust levels and impacts.
“We are taking a continuous improvement approach when it comes to protecting the air near our operations,” said Scott Maloney, Vice President, Environment. “New learnings and technologies are constantly becoming available to us and it is our responsibility to take advantage of that.”