Coalition concerned about assessment of proposed Comlox Valley coal mine(s)

Dear editor,

Re: Release of AIR/EIS Guidelines for the Raven Underground Coal Mine project.

Dear editor,

Re: Release of AIR/EIS Guidelines for the Raven Underground Coal Mine project.

The Comox Valley Conservation Strategy (CVCS) is a community partnership made up of 20 local environmental and residents’ groups who have come together to support a Valley-wide conservation plan.

This strong collective voice for the local environment is deeply concerned about the inadequate Assessment Information requirements and Environmental Impact Statement (AIR/EIS) Guidelines recently approved for the proposed Raven project.

During the drafting of the AIR/EIS, we participated in the public consultation process as part of the environmental assessment review undertaken by Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the BC Environmental Assessment Office (CEAA/BCEAO).

In our submission to that process we outlined a number of potential environmental impacts the mine posed on freshwater, marine and land-based ecosystems and the flow and quality of surface and groundwater. Other concerns identified in our submission included:

impacts to species at risk, air quality and risks to the sustainable shellfish industry in Baynes Sound.

In June 2012 the AIR/EIS Guidelines document was released for the mine project. Unfortunately, the guidelines are inadequate and fail to address many of the concerns raised through the public consultation process. The guidelines will not ensure that the project’s environmental impacts will be mitigated or that they will even be adequately monitored.

The guideline requirement to assess and monitor effects on hydrology from mining activities is restricted to testing five wells, representing only 10 per cent of the area proposed for mining. The hydrological study of potential impacts is confined to only two watersheds within the project area, excluding other watersheds such as the Tsable River and Wilfred Creek.

The baseline measurements that will be used to monitor the volume and quality of surface and subsurface water are based on incomplete and inaccurate information. The changes to aquifer

volumes and quality of water over most of the area where mining operations will occur will not be measured.

There has been no requirement established to consider the impact of the Bear Coal deposit even though Compliance Coal has stated their intention to mine this site if the Raven project gets the go-ahead. The Bear Coal deposit is located in the Comox Lake

Watershed, the primary drinking water source for Comox Valley residents.

The CVCS has stated from the outset that we do not support a coal mine in the Comox Valley. Unfortunately, the AIR/EIS guidelines for the proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine project not only lack any consideration of global impacts, but also fail to ensure that a coal mine would be operated without long term negative consequences to the health of our local watersheds, marine and land-based ecosystems, and our sustainable shellfish industry employing 600 local residents.

David Stapley,

Comox Valley

Editor’s note: David Stapley is the project manager for the Comox Valley Conservation Strategy.

Just Posted

Charles Hawkswell, Commander, of the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron, presents a $1,000 cheque to the Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society. File photo
Comox removing moorage fees, hydro for Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society

Last year, the unit and society responded to more than 50 rescue missions in the past year

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

UPDATED: Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

While the route to get there is a little different, downtown Courtenay is open and accessible right now. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Bridge — and downtown Courtenay — are open, say businesses

Incoming BIA president Sean Ferguson says parking is available

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

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Most Read