Tapics disregards Alberni public’s worry about coal threat in a tsunami

To the Editor,

An investment firm peddling Raven Coal shares paraphrased president John Tapics about the proposed 80,000 tonne coal storage facility for location at the Port Alberni Port Authority: “recent concerns voiced in light of the Japanese earthquake with respect to the risk of a coal stock pile washing into the ocean are nonsensical.

“While no one is arguing that a tsunami risk exists at Port Alberni, he [Tapics] says that a small pile of washed coal would be the least of the town’s concerns when houses and human lives are at stake.”

It appears Mr. Tapics acknowledges the tsunami risk and subsequent devastation threatening our community, yet instead of attempting to suggest any form of “mitigation”, he confesses indifference about adding coal, with all its toxic, harmful chemical compounds, to the  mix.

This kind of triviality and nonchalant attitude toward our community and disregard for the potential coal displacement hazard and the ensuing toxic result for all of us in the Alberni valley is very serious.

I would think the environmental assessment agencies would think so too.

The tsunami that devastated Japan is a wake-up call and it’s why we need to develop and apply policies, strategies and practises to minimize vulnerabilities.

We must avoid Tapics’ uncaring desire to risk having a tsunami displace coal 600 hectares inland, by only allowing proactive, sustainable development in our tsunami inundation zone.

As much as some people have no qualms intensifying the severity of the impacts we will one day face, our resilience to retrofit high-risk developments will continue, until people like Tapics go away.

Stacey Gaiga,

Port Alberni