AEC has say in coal concerns

To the Editor,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Alberni Environmental Coalition (AEC), outlining some concerns around Compliance Coal Corporation’s proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine and the establishment of Port Alberni as a coal port.

The AEC has identified the following initial concerns:

  • The effect of coal dust particulate matter and transportation emissions on air quality in the Alberni Valley which has been identified as one of the poorest locations in Canada for diluting and dispersing airborne pollutants.
  • The effect of proposed deep sea coal port facility and shipping on the local marine environment, including construction, dredging, shipping and coal dispersal.
  • Green house gas emissions.
  • The potential impact of natural disasters such as a tsunami and earthquake or industrial accidents/ spills on the waters of Barkley Sound and Port Alberni.
  • The effect on local water quality and food security, specifically around seafood and local agriculture.
  • The socio-economic impact on our communities that have goals to transition into a sustainable economy.
  • The impact of coal hauling vehicles on local, single route highways.

The company has just released the draft Application Information Requirements/ Environmental Impact Statements Guidelines around this project, kicking off a 30-day public comment period.

There will also be a public meeting around the project at the Athletic Hall on Thursday, June 2. The AEC would like to encourage community members to participate in this environmental review process around this project that will have a huge impact on our community.

Norine Messer,

Alberni Environmental Coalition