URGENT: BLOCK RAVEN COAL MINE

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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

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