British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

An ecological audit of the regulatory requirements for surface coal mine reclamation in nine western North American jurisdictions Smyth, Clint R.; Dearden, Philip


The role of regulatory requirements and their impact on the design and implementation of high elevation coal mine reclamation programs was examined in nine mountainous western North American jurisdictions. This 'ecological audit' of regulatory requirements revealed that several jurisdictions are similar programatically in objectives but dissimilar substantively in regulatory provisions such as topographic modifications, revegetation, performance standards and enforcement. Information acquisition and dissemination also varied between jurisdictions. The current command-penalty model of environmental regulation results in adversarial interactions between government and industry in many of the jurisdictions and should be replaced by a formal negotiated system of regulation based on continuing research and adaptive management.

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