The true cost of coal

This series focuses on the hidden impacts of coal mining in the Elk Valley.

Despite the economic benefits coal mining has brought to these communities and the province, the hidden cost to the environment, to human health, and the climate cannot be ignored. Solutions exist to these problems, but unless B.C. and the Federal government are willing to take appropriate action, B.C. and Canada will always have dirt on their hands.

The first story presents an overview of coal mining in British Columbia and explores the Elk Valley as a case study of Canada’s largest silent unfolding contamination crisis. Subsequent stories dive into detail on the cost coal mining in the Elk Valley has to the environment, to human health, and climate change.

Explore our True Cost of Coal series:
Text: an overview of coal mining in the Elk Valley photo: open pit mine with tailing ponds in the Elk Valley 
Text: the cost of coal to human health. Background: image of desolate coal mine with dust in the air
text: coming soon, the cost of coal to climate change

Mining news

On Record Ridge near the town of Rossland, British Columbia, the perfect conditions exist for a very particular plant called the mountain holly fern to…Read more 
In 2022, Teck profited a staggering $6.4 billion from their steelmaking coal mines in southeast BC’s Elk Valley, making up 60% of Teck…Read more 
A mountain-top coal mine.

Laws of the land

October 26, 2023
In late September, British Columbia's Supreme Court gave the province 18 months to update its Mineral Tenure Act. The decision has significant implications for both reconciliation and environmental protections in the province. Read more 
In Sparwood, dust from the nearby coal mine sometimes drifts over the town, coating everything in fine black powder and leaving some residents concerned about…Read more 
For decades, mountaintop removal coal mining has been leaching contamination into the Elk-Kootenay River System. Deemed by some as Canada’s largest-ever contamination crisis, selenium, nitrates, sulphates, and other pollutants are threatening species at risk like cutthroat trout, regional water secuRead more 
Kukama?nam/Kimberley The BC government has fined Teck Coal $16.5 million for failure to construct a water treatment facility by the required permit…Read more 
Read more news

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