To the Editor,
I attended the recent Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) AGM recently to listen to any comments they might have on the proposed coal port designated for Port Alberni.
Much to my surprise, not one word was mentioned about the proposed project during the presentation.
During the question period, I asked if any PAPA staff members had reviewed the now finalized AIR/EIS Guidelines Document for the Raven Coal Mine Project to analyze if the 73 comments/concerns they submitted as part of the drafting had been adequately addressed in the final version.
New PAPA CEO Zoran Knezevic answered, “ I’ll get back to the community on that”.
It’s hard to imagine they could hire a consultant to review the numerous revisions of the draft AIR/EIS document, and submit comments and then, once it’s finalized, not have the foresight to have a consultant or staff review the document and report to the PAPA on the adequacy of the document and whether or not their concerns had been addressed.
In fairness, Mr. Knezevic has only been on the job for a short time. But with the proposed coal port being such a high profile issue in the community, more attention needs to be focused on the role of the PAPA in the environmental assessment process.
The PAPA involvement needs to be more transparent, and any PAPA concerns about the project should be made public.
Fanny Bay, B.C.