ACRD gains seat at coal table

The ACRD board appointed its chief administrative officer Russell Dyson as their representative to the Ravel coal project's joint working group.

The Alberni Clayoquot Regional District has a chip in the high stakes coal shipping game in Port Alberni.

The ACRD board appointed its chief administrative officer Russell Dyson as their representative to the projects joint working group.

Dyson confirmed his appointment to the working group on Tuesday.

“But this does not address the ACRD’s request for an independent review panel,” Dyson said.

The spot on the working group was in response to a May 2 letter from the ACRD to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

In that letter, ACRD chair Glenn Wong asked the CEAA to map underground aquifers in the project’s vicinity, as well as to refer the project to a independent federal-provincial review panel.

The effects of the project on aquifers will be assessed as part of the current environmental assessment, CEAA project manager Andrew Rollo noted in his letter.

As for the joint review panel “…the agency and other federal departments have not identified significant issues at this time which would warrant referring the project to a review panel,” Rollo noted.

Dyson joins city manager Ken Watson on the working group.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com