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Ed Homer: Union Bay Coal Piles

Edward Homer, Comox Valley Arts & Life, 2013

Check out more of Ed's work at his YouTube Channel.

Opposition politicians raise questions about government’s handling of coal waste water spill that released dangerous chemicals

Marty Klinkenberg, Edmonton Journal, November 15, 2013

EDMONTON - The coal mine pond that leaked into the Athabasca River on Oct. 31 contained a range of potentially damaging compounds, including a suspected carcinogen called phenathrene.

According to the National Pollution Release Inventory, a database kept by Environment Canada, the impoundment at Sherritt International’s Obed Mountain mine also contained arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead and manganese.

Time for Alberta to come clean about environmental accidents

Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal November 14, 2013

EDMONTON - Mercury levels nine times higher than normal.

Levels of cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons four times the allowed standard for Canadian drinking water.

Those are the kinds of disturbing test results Dr. James Talbot, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, is seeing as he monitors a huge plume of coal mine waste water currently oozing down the Athabasca River.

Water Sustainability Act and Groundwater

Andrew Gage, West Coast Environmental Law, 8 November, 2013

About one out of every four British Columbians relies on wells for drinking water.  Groundwater is also essential to BC’s agricultural sector and is critical for habitat for salmon and other fish species.  And British Columbians have been incensed that large companies can take our groundwater free of charge.  And so it’s welcome news that BC is planning to finally regulate groundwater use under the proposed Water Sustainability Act (which the government is consulting British Columbians on until November 15th).  But we need to be sure that these new rules on groundwater use don’t lock in unsustainable water use, and allow us to get a handle on how groundwater should be licensed is BC.

Massive coal mine leak damaged fisheries, habitat

Marty Kinkenberg & Sheila Pratt, Edmonton Journal, November 9, 2013

Alberta Environment admits sediment poses risk to some species

EDMONTON - Likely the largest spill of its kind in Canadian history, the massive leak of coal slurry into the Athabasca River near Hinton has caused damage to habitat and poses a risk to certain fish species.

‘Major failure’ of coal mine pit releases waste water into Athabasca River

Caley Ramsey, Global News, 02Nov2013

EDMONTON – The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is responding to what it calls a “major failure” of a pit at a coal mine near Hinton.

A pit containing coal process and surface water failed at the Obed Mountain Coal Mine on Thursday evening, releasing a large quantity of the process water into the Athabasca River.

First Nations declare victory against Taseko's B.C. mine

CBC News, Nov 01, 2013

Proposed New Prosperity mine would have signficant effects on Fish Lake, report concludes

First Nations leaders in B.C. are declaring victory after a new environmental report concluded Taseko's New Prosperity mine proposal poses "significant adverse environmental effects".

Teck's adjusted profit slides 41% as coal prices fall

Allison Martell & Varun Aggarwal, Reuters, Business News Network, October 24, 2013

Teck Resources Ltd (TCK.B-T 29.04 -0.5 -1.69%), Canada's largest diversified miner, reported a 41 percent drop in quarterly adjusted profit as higher coal sales volumes failed to offset weaker prices.

"The current price for steelmaking coal remains below what we believe is required to sustain adequate production in the industry in the long term," Teck CEO Don Lindsay

Baynes Sound - A Lot To Be Lost

Gary Prendergast, October 24 2013

CoalWatch: Survey rejects Baynes Sound coal mine development

Press Release, CoalWatch Comox Valley, October 15 2013

Findings from the recently released “Baynes Sound Opinion Survey on Shellfish Aquaculture” conducted by the Vancouver Island University, Institute for Coastal Research, indicate survey respondents overwhelmingly rejected coal mine development in the Baynes Sound area.

CoalWatch: Survey rejects Baynes Sound coal mine development

Press Release, CoalWatch Comox Valley, October 15 2013

Findings from the recently released “Baynes Sound Opinion Survey on Shellfish Aquaculture” conducted by the Vancouver Island University, Institute for Coastal Research, indicate survey respondents overwhelmingly rejected coal mine development in the Baynes Sound area.

Las Vegas hoteliers inspect Comox Valley shellfish firsthand

Erin Haluschak, Comox Valley Record, October 07, 2013

What happens in the Comox Valley is now looking to stay in Vegas, thanks to local shellfish growers and a connection from the famous Strip.

Baynes Sound Opinion Survey

Linda D'Anna, VIU, September 2013

Researchers at ICR have been exploring how the benefits that accrue to the existing aquaculture industry as a whole translate into socio-cultural and economic benefits for Canada’s coastal communities, and how the environmental, economic, and social costs of the industry are distributed in those communities. Within this broad research interest, we’ve focused on the shellfish aquaculture industry and communities of Baynes Sound on the east coast of Vancouver Island. A new report describes the research interests, methods, and findings of a recent public opinion survey we conducted in the region.  

Baynes Sound Opinion Survey on Shellfish Aquaculture Report 20130927

Mining company steps back from Sacred Headwaters standoff

Damien Gillis,, Sep 23 2013

Fortune Minerals announced Monday it will voluntarily stand down from an escalating conflict with the local Tahltan First Nation. The Common Sense Canadian has been reporting on the standoff over a proposed mine in northwest BC’s Sacred Headwaters region since it began in August, when First Nations elders issued the company an eviction notice, demanding it cease exploratory drilling.

Coal mining protest in B.C. set to erupt

Margo Harper, The Globe and Mail, Sep. 20 2013

An increasingly tense standoff between a B.C. First Nation and a London, Ont.-based coal company in a remote mountain valley known as Sacred Headwaters is set to erupt as protesters flaunt their month-long presence on a drilling site and taunt the RCMP to arrest them.

BC Local Governments call for Modernization of BC’s Gold Rush Era Mining Rules

News Release, West Coast Environmental Law & Fair Mining Collaborative, Sept 19 2013

Vancouver/Coast Salish Territory – In a resolution passed with overwhelming support today at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) annual conference, BC local governments called on the provincial government to work with First Nations, local governments, industry and citizens to modernize BC’s “free entry” mining laws, which for over 150 years have given mining activity priority over virtually all other land uses and generated conflict over mining activity throughout BC.

UBCM Resolution B69 ENDORSED - Underground Aquifer Mapping For Proposed Mining Projects

UBCM 2013 Convention, September 18, 2013

WHEREAS there are concerns that mining projects can negatively affect surrounding aquifers;

AND WHEREAS many people rely on these aquifers for drinking water:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government conduct comprehensive mapping and modeling of aquifers that may be affected by proposed mines before approving mine projects.

Behind The Corps/ Ecology Break Up Over Coal

Ashley Ahearn, Earthfix, Sep 9 2013

As some of you may have seen, the Army Corps made a pretty major announcement on Friday last week that largely slipped under the radar - mainly because they didn’t notify the news media.

The announcement was that the corps will be conducting a separate environmental review of the Millennium Bulk Export Terminal from the state Department of Ecology. The terminal is proposed to be built near Longview, Wash and would handle 44 million tons of coal per year.

BC Mining company underestimates spill

Doris Bregolisse, Global News, September 9 2013

COALMONT — An environmental review has found Coalmont Energy Corp extremely underestimated how much coal slurry spilled from the Basin Mine emergency tailing pond into the Tulameen River at the end of August.

“Our mine experts are pegging it about 30 cubic meters which is about 6,000 gallons” said Coalmont Media Spokesman, Keith Meldrum in a Global Okanagan interview on August 26th.

What if coal slurry spilled at Raven Coal Mine?

John Snyder,, Sept 10 2013

On Saturday August 24, 2013 a malfunction of a containment pond at Coalmont Energy’s Basin Coal Mine 20 km. west of Princeton, BC, spilled what is estimated at “ no more than 13,000 gallons” of coal slurry, which eventually made its way into the nearby Tulameen River turning it black.This coal slurry spill was characterized by Coalmont Energy as an event which just happened to exceed their backup plan, and “mainly had a visual impact” on the environment. This is a small consolation to the residents in the area, their drinking water, and the critters in the impacted waterways which had above acceptable levels of contamination for aquatic life days after the spill.

Support is lacking

Campbell Conner, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, September 5 2013

In your August 27 edition, Compliance Coal CEO Stephen Ellis stated that the proposed coal mine at Buckley Bay/ Fanny Bay has the support of local residents.

Such an assertion demands scrutiny in the light of the facts.

All In The Same Boat

New Coalmont Courier, August 31 2013

The public information session with Coalmont Energy Corporation took place at the Tulameen Community Hall this Friday evening.

CBC On the Island: John Snyder on Itochu withdrawal from Comox Joint Venture

Host Gregor Craigie talks with John Snyder, CBC On the Island, August 28 2013.

They discuss the announced withdrawal of Itochu from the Comox Valley Joint Venture. The Comox Joint Venture is the proponent for the proposed Raven Underground Coal Project near Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island. In the original agreement, I-Comox Coal, a subsidiary of Itochu Corporation, held 20%, LG held 20%, and Compliance Coal Corp. held 60%.

Click here to listen to the discussion.

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