Alberni Environmental Coalition receives money for experts to examine Raven Coal port proposal

PORT ALBERNI—The Alberni Environmental Coaltion (AEC) has received a $28,000 grant for expert analysis of the Raven Underground Coal project's environmental impact on the Port Alberni area.

PORT ALBERNI—The Alberni Environmental Coaltion (AEC) has received a $28,000 grant for expert analysis of the Raven Underground Coal project’s environmental impact on the Port Alberni area.  “This is a major project and its implications must be thoroughly analyzed and publicized to assess whether this is in the community’s best interest,” says Gary Swann, AEC director.

Dr. Tom Okey, an expert in marine biology will undertake to review the proposal to transport coal through Port Alberni by truck and load onto Panamax ships through a terminal to be built on Port authority lands in the harbour.  Okey is the Director of Ecological Sciences for the West Coast Aquatic Management Board and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria,  School of Environmental Studies.  Of critical concern is the impact of coal in a marine environment especially as the proposed export terminal is in a highly sensitive ecosystem known as the Somass Estuary and home of the third largest salmon bearing river in British Columbia.

Recently honoured by the BC Lung Society,  Bernadette Wyton is uniquely qualified because of her years of experience with Port Alberni’s air quality issues, to examine the impact of bringing coal for transport to Asia into Port Alberni’s harbour from the proposed mine site near Fanny Bay. Currently she chairs the Air Quality Council of the Port Alberni Regional District.

In addition, the AEC together with CoalWatch of Fanny Bay and the Comox Valley, engaged Dr. Joan Kuyek to review the Raven project with respect to social and economic impacts of the Raven mine, transport and port terminal.  Former director of MiningWatch Canada, she also brings a wealth of experience and undertook a socio economic study of the Prosperity Mine ( Fish Lake ) which was turned down by the Federal government last fall.

Coordination of all three experts in both their evaluation of the mine proponent’s documents throughout the BC and Federal government’s harmonized environmental review process as well as ensuring the public has access to the expert analysis will be the job of Norine Messer.  Norine is a Community Developer who has coordinated various initiatives that give voice to communities around resource management and community/ family health in Port Alberni and on the West Coast.

The grant is one of many received after the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) and the BC Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) announced money was available last fall to assist the public in affected areas with analyzing the mine proponent’s project.

The next major stage in the mine’s environmental assessment process is expected “mid-spring” according to both governments when the public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposal.

Just Posted

Port Alberni Black Sheep fall to Surrey Beavers in rugby action

Three tries late in the second half cemented the win for Beavers

Addiction should be treated, not criminalized, say health professionals

Port Alberni Shelter Society forum talks opioid crisis

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Drivers’ bad habits on Port Alberni RCMP’s radar

Seatbelt, cellphone violations handed out in distracted driving campaign

City of Port Alberni takes over McLean Mill pond project

Alberni Valley Enhancement Society received grant for work that went sideways

AFN national chief suggests moving Trans Mountain pipeline route

Perry Bellegarde said many Indigenous communities believe in the need to diversify export markets

VIDEO: a close-up look at what you were breathing during the wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Saganash drops F-bomb in Commons over federal approach to Trans Mountain

NDP’s reconciliation critic accused federal government of ‘wilfully’ violating constitutional duties

B.C. cancer patient denied chemo due to condition of homeless shelter

Victoria housing and health advocates say this isn’t an isolated case

Most Read