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Great News for Kananaskis Country!

June 5, 2012

Kananaskis Country has won a reprieve from a proposed sour gas development. The long-running saga of the proposed Sullivan development – 11 new sour gas wells and 37 kilometres of pipeline – has finally come to an end. And the big winners are the wilderness landscapes and wildlife of southern Kananaskis Country!

Back in June 2010, despite widespread public opposition, ERCB granted Suncor permission to drill 11 sour gas wells in the Bull Creek Hills, and build 37 km of pipeline across a swathe of relatively pristine Kananaskis Country land. Opposition had come from local landowner groups, environmental organizations such as AWA, and the Eden Valley Reserve.

Suncor announced the withdrawal of its application in a letter mailed May 29, citing low natural gas prices as one of the principal reasons. Of course the continuing legal challenges to the development likely also played a role. Earlier this year, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Stoney Indian Band in its appeal of the 2010 ERCB approval decision. “In our view, the board did not exercise discretion in a justifiable, transparent or intelligible way,” the court found.

Whatever the reason, the withdrawal of the application is good news for Kananaskis  Country , and the threatened grizzlies and cutthroat trout  which would likely have paid the price of development.

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