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June 27, 2011

URGENT: BLOCK RAVEN COAL MINE


[UPDATE May 17, 2013]

Proving 'Time Flies' even when one isn't having fun, it's hard to believe that my blog post vigorously opposing Compliance Coal Corporation's Raven Coal Mine proposal was written two years ago, on June 27 2011 - & the Wilderness Committee's tireless campaign against the heinous project dates back even further...

The good news is that B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has rejected an application for the Raven Coal Mine. - here's a link to this news item in The Tyee: Raven Coal Mine.

However, as the article states, yesterday (May 16th) the EAO sent a letter to Compliance president and CEO John Tapics stating that the application didn't include all the information required and would therefore not proceed to the next stage: a more detailed review followed by a public comment period.

As The Tyee's Colleen Kimmett reports, "According to the EAO's evaluation, the application was missing information on key areas, including local drinking water impacts, consultation with First Nations, and plans for mine decommissioning and site remediation.

"Compliance has the option of re-submitting its application, but for now, Wilderness Committee campaigner Torrance Coste is calling this 'another indication that this mine doesn't belong on Vancouver Island.'"

Please visit the Wilderness Committee to become more informed - & involved - on issues crucial to the future health of all British Columbians...


Here's my letter to the Provincial Government:

TO:  BC Minister of the Environment
RE:  FANNY BAY RAVEN COAL MINE PROJECT

A born-and-bred British Columbian with family ties to Fanny Bay and an active interest in sound ecological/environmental initiatives, I was distressed to learn of Compliance Energy's plans to build Raven Coal Mine in this idyllic spot.

No decision on this should be made without knowledge of the area to be affected.  Anyone unfamiliar with Fanny Bay ought to be required to bring it up on Google Maps' 'street view' and navigate throughout the region – an exercise that would highlight the mind-boggling perversity of choosing Fanny Bay as the location for a coal mine.  Its tranquil setting – which has become a valuable vacation destination as well as a favoured retirement haven – could not be more UNSUITED to having a mine operating in its midst.

 Fanny Bay, BC
 
The detrimental effects of such a project on nearby/neighbouring ecosystems and environmental quality would be catastrophic and irreversible – and must be considered in assessing the viability of Raven Coal Mine. The far-reaching, well-documented dangers and health risks of coal mining – including devastating ecological, economic and social impacts – would have lasting consequences on the Comox and Alberni Valleys.



The whole Baynes Sound watershed would be adversely affected by this operation. Heavy metal leakage and acid rock drainage would threaten aquatic life and the important local aquaculture industry, which employs more than 600 residents and relies for its very existence on the health of its waters. Toxic waste substances deposited directly into the environment would impact local drinking water, salmon bearing streams and marine health. Such deleterious effects could not be mitigated or reversed. GHG's, including the release of methane gas, would add over 80 million tonnes of polluting gases to Earth's atmosphere – unsustainable by all accounts. To put an entire community through this amount of hardship/stress is not only unethical, but irresponsible.

Clean, sustainable alternatives to high-impact operations like coal mining must be implemented now in order to have clean air, clean water and a healthy natural environment. Allowing a coal mine to be built, armed with contemporary knowledge of coal mining's predictable effects on our planet's human, plant and wildlife populations, is tantamount to genocide by poisoning the land/water via what ought to be considered an obsolete process.

SARAH CHESTERMAN

For more information and/or to help influence decisions:
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