GUEST SHOT: Here’s another side to the Raven Coal debate: one in support

For the past year we have been bombarded with letters to the local papers from the opponents of coal shipments out of the Alberni Inlet. For the most part the writers have been uninformed or have been repeating rhetoric they have heard from others.

To the Editor,

Re: Proposed coal shipments.

For the past year we have been bombarded with letters to the local papers from the opponents of coal shipments out of the Alberni Inlet. For the most part the writers have been uninformed or have been repeating rhetoric they have heard from others. In at least one case, it is the possible loss of view and property value.

Other claims are based on “what if” scenarios. Yes, these questions should be asked, but they should also be answered based on balance of probabilities and acceptable risk.

Contrary to their claims of spontaneous combustion, explosion and contamination of our waterways, it is simply not the case.

Coal has been hauled into Roberts Bank for almost 40 years without one incident of fire, explosion or environmental damage.

Coal is not a dangerous commodity; it does not have a United Nations Dangerous Commodity Number or a Dangerous Class Number. In fact, coal is the source of carbon (charcoal) used in many water filters and purifiers.

For the most part, railways are not even mandated to do extensive cleanup in the event of a train derailment involving coal unless it is disrupting the flow of a water course. most of the cleanup they undertake is for salvage and economic reasons.

The Association of American Railroads, which is the umbrella for all Class 1 railroads and most of the Class 2 and 3 railways in North America, have no record of any explosion,, fire or environmental damage as a result of shipping coal in the past 40-plus years. The Federal Railway Administration in the United States make a similar claim.

The dusting problem associated with unit coal trains in earlier years has been virtually eliminated. The reason for this was the shippers and railways found out how much product they were losing and took the necessary steps to correct that problem.

The proposed coal shipments could well be that shot of adrenalin required to make the Southern Vancouver Island Railway profitable and to become an important component of the overall transportation infrastructure on Vancouver Island.

It is ironic that the practical part of the BCIT railway conductor course is done here in Port Alberni. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our young people could take this course and find quality employment close to home?

I believe the advantages of this proposal far outweigh the disadvantages and hopefully it will proceed.

Wayne Oliver,

Port Alberni

Just Posted

Aidan See played for the North Island Silvertips during the 2019-2020 season. (PHOTO COURTESY RON HAYES)
VIJHL: Port Alberni Bombers add hometown talent to roster

Junior B hockey club signs Aidan See, Blake Power and Grayson Erickson

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read