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Historic new water legislation introduced

Media Release, Government of BC, March 11 2014

VICTORIA - Environment Minister Mary Polak introduced legislation today that will update and replace B.C.'s century-old Water Act with the new Water Sustainability Act.

Click here to read the new Water Sustainability Act

Province never inspected berm that burst at Obed mine tailings pond

Sheila Pratt, Edmonton Journal, Feb 27 2014

EDMONTON - The berm around the Obed mine coal tailings pond that failed last fall had not been inspected by the province because it was not classified as a dam, a public forum at the University of Alberta was told Thursday.

Dragons to the rescue of shellfish?

John Harding, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, Feb 27, 2014

A local man who will face the Dragons may have the answer to a beast of a problem facing local shellfish producers.

Shellfish support

John Harding, Editor, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, Feb 27, 2014

If Roberta Stevenson sounds defensive, it may be appropriate to cut her some slack.

Taseko New Prosperity Mine at Fish Lake rejected again

CBC News, Feb 26, 2014

Ministry concludes project likely to cause significant environmental damage, Taseko will reapply

It's back to the drawing board for round three for Taseko Mines, Ltd.

Baynes Sound is worth protecting

Ralph Shaw, Comox Valley Record, February 19, 2014

Baynes Sound is not a large place in terms of the Pacific Ocean; but it is a place of great natural riches. It will be subject to all the problems of climate change we associate with acidification, global warming, rising ocean levels to name just three growing challenges.

I felt personal shame and embarrassment that the 2014 federal government budget made no serious mention of the growing threat to the planet of climate change. As I write this column, southern England is being flooded, Australia is burning up, California in a drought, the southeast USA is experiencing history making winter storms.

36 laid off at Quinsam mine

Paul Rudan, Campbell River Mirror, Feb 13, 2014

Quinsam Coal has permanently laid off 36 workers due to weaker demand and lower prices for thermal coal.

“It’s certainly a very difficult decision and a very difficult time,” said Gary Gould, vice-president of Hillsborough Resources.

Company looks to upgrade railway

Eric Plummer, Alberni Valley Times, February 7, 2014

Southern Railway hopes to bring trains back the Alberni Valley if the Raven coal mine gets approval

Baynes Sound coal mine proponent readying another application

Scott Stanfield, Comox Valley Record, Jan 30, 2014

The proponent of a proposed underground coal mine near Baynes Sound hopes to reapply for an environmental certificate by about the end of March.

Coal blow as major European bank cuts funding

Nilima Choudhury

EBRD joins World Bank and European Investment Bank in slashing funding for coal

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a five-year strategy to limit financing coal projects and increase investment in clean technology and energy efficiency.

Trucking only option for mine

Eric Plummer, Alberni Valley Time, Jan 22 2014

Company behind the Raven coal mine estimates railway transport to Valley would cost $300 million

The proposed Raven coal mine would increase traffic through Cathedral Grove by three loaded trucks an hour, but bring 70 jobs to the Alberni Valley, says the mining company's vice-president.

Coal spill feared to be a risk to aquatic life in Burnaby's Silver Creek

Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, January 20, 2014

Coal dust can clog up gills and restrict the ability of fish to breath, biologist says

METRO VANCOUVER -- John Preissl can hardly believe his eyes. The Burnaby resident and amateur nature photographer walks the shoreline of Burnaby Lake pretty much every day and is disturbed to see that sediments and coal have created a small island at the mouth of Silver Creek where endangered western painted turtles are hibernating.

Coal train derailment a real concern says Corrigan

Mario Bartel, Burnaby NewsLeader, Jan 11, 2014

The derailment of seven rail cars carrying coal on the Canadian National railway line just west of Cariboo Road Saturday morning could have been a lot worse.

"Imagine if it was some other substance," said Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan after he visited the scene. "They're carrying substances that are toxic, they're carrying substances that are dangerous. We don't even know if those kinds of substances are moving through our city."

Freedom Industries cited for Elk chemical spill

Ken Ward Jr., WV Gazette, Jan 10 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When West Virginia inspectors arrived at Freedom Industries late Thursday morning, they discovered that the company had taken "no spill containment measures" to combat the chemical spill that has put drinking water supplies off-limits for hundreds of thousands of residents.

Raven to re-submit coal mine application by end of March

John Harding, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, Jan 9, 2014

The president of Compliance Energy says the company will re-submit its application for the Raven coal mine project by the end of March.

Wall Street Giant Backs Away From Washington Coal Export Project

Oregon Public Broadcasting, Jan 7 2014

A multinational banking giant is backing away from a proposal to build the West Coast’s biggest coal export project near Bellingham, Washington.

New York-based Goldman Sachs has sold its stock back to the companies proposing to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal. If built it would transfer 48 million tons of Wyoming coal each year from trains to ocean-going vessels bound for Asia.

Washington coal export project dumped by Goldman Sachs

John Upton, Grist, Jan 8 2013

Goldman Sachs is looking a tad less evil. It has dumped its holdings in a shaky project that would build the Gateway Pacific Terminal near Bellingham, Wash., intended to be the West Coast’s biggest coal export terminal.

It’s not that the banking giant discovered a soul. Rather, it’s realizing that coal projects in the U.S. are a dumb gamble. Last year, the group’s commodity research team warned of “a sharp deceleration in seaborne demand” for coal in a paper titled “The window for thermal coal investment is closing.”

Coal Mine Getting Deeper

New Coalmont Courier, January 4 2014

A published list of 341 creditors owed a total of $73,935,635.64 shows that the coal mine is running a little behind in their bill payments.

Click here to access all the creditor protection documents.

Ten companies are owed over a million dollars, most noteworthy being HSBC Bank Canada with a $37 million claim. There are no locals on the list, but 14 companies in Princeton are owed a total of $344,651.30. In the greater picture that may look like loosing your change down the back of the sofa, but it is money the local economy can ill afford to lose.

Environmental Coalition closes its office doors after losing grant funds

Lise Broadley, Alberni Valley Times, December 23, 2013

As of Jan. 31 the Alberni Environmental Coalition will be closing its office doors.

The decision was made after it was denied funding though the Community Gaming Grants program.

B.C. announces coal rights deferral deal in Sacred Headwaters area

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press, Vancouver Sun, December 16, 2013

VICTORIA - A remote area of northwest British Columbia considered sacred by aboriginals and resource rich by mining companies has received a reprieve from potential coal-mining activities with a government order that puts new coal tenures on hold for one year.

CoalWatch 2013 Year End Recap, by John Snyder

John Snyder, President, CoalWatch Comox Valley Society, December 10 2013

With the end of 2013 fast approaching, I think it’s important to recognize events this past year which were significant to CoalWatch and others opposing the proposed Raven Coal Mine Project.

Trees uprooted in 20-metre-wide swath on either side of creek, Obed mine spill forum told

Sheila Pratt, Edmonton Journal, December 2, 2013

"This is once again a cautionary tale for those concerned about the Raven Coal Mine issue. Imagine a similar scenario along Cowie Creek which would then flow into Baynes Sound." CoalWatch President John Snyder

EDMONTON - On the last evening of October, a wall of water and sludge poured out of the Obed coal mine containment pond, uprooting trees and cutting down vegetation in a swath 20 metres wide on either side of the Apetowun trout stream.

The coal slurry rose over the creek banks, spreading contaminated sediment into the forest as far as 10 kilometres downstream on the creek, which eventually joins the Athabasca River. A layer of sediment about 50 centimetres thick lies under the snow in some places.

Coal Fever - Vancouver Island

Comox Valley Echo, November 29, 2013

Back in 1983 at the public hearings for the Quinsam Coal mine in Campbell River, there was a lot of opposition: even the mayor and council were opposed. The provincial government gave the mine the green light anyway.

Update Dec 5 2013:
Ed Homer has posted the full video to his channel on YouTube.
Please click here to watch the 34 minute film.

Companies hit with protection order to clean up Alberta coal slurry spill

Keith Gerein, Edmonton Journal, November 19, 2013

EDMONTON - Nearly three weeks after the Athabasca River system was hit with what is believed to be Canada’s largest ever coal slurry spill, the Alberta government has slapped the two companies involved with an environmental protection order.

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