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Provincial EA

Environmental review process fairness 'pants-on-fire fib'

Mike Bell, Comox Valley Record, January 10, 2012

Dear editor,

We have been told that the Environmental Review Process is objective and fair.

Not true. It’s a great big “pants-on-fire” fib. Here’s why.

Changes to environmental assessment worrisome

Tony Pearse, Vancouver Sun, December 17, 2011

Re: Environmental reviews need streamlining, Editorial, Dec. 10

The Vancouver Sun's editorial about streamlining environmental reviews comes across as boosterism for industrial growth at all costs.

Critics claim mineral exploration in B.C. needs more accountability

By Andrew Findlay, Georgia Straight, November 24, 2011

Mineral exploration is exploding in B.C., but critics claim the provincial government isn’t assessing the environmental impact.

Raven coal documents daunting, says CoalWatch

Oceanside Star, November 17, 2011

The public is being discouraged from commenting on Compliance Coal Corporation's proposed Raven Coal Mine Project, CoalWatch Comox Valley said Monday.

CoalWatch says public consultation lacking time

Spencer Anderson, Comox Valley Echo, November 18, 2011

A local group campaigning against the proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine project is calling for more time to review the project, ahead of a new public comment period beginning today.

Coalwatch slams public input process

Julia Caranci, Alberni Valley Times, November 15, 2011

Critics of a proposed coal mine project say the average person would "throw up their hands" at the barriers regarding learning if their opinion has been heard.

Coalwatch slams new public comment period on raven coal project

Press Release, CoalWatch Comox Valley, November 14, 2011

CoalWatch Comox Valley has slammed the recently announced public comment period on the proposed Raven Coal Mine Project, calling Compliance Coal Corporation’s responses in the latest version of the tracking table, vague, evasive, and anything but transparent.

New pitch to toughen up mine assessment

Philip Round, Comox Valley Echo, November 08, 2011

A further pitch is being made to toughen up the forthcoming environmental assessment for the proposed Raven coalmine near Fanny Bay.

Despite being in its area, Comox Valley Regional District legally has no say on whether the mine is eventually approved or not.

Tracking Table Comment Period: Nov 15-29

BC Environmental Assessment Office, November 8, 2011

November 15-29, 2011: The BC EAO is requesting comments from the public on Compliance Coal Corporation's responses, as listed in the tracking table.

The tracking table contains Compliance Coal Corp's  responses to comments provided by the public during the May 18, 2011 to June 27, 2011 public comment period.

Tracking Table:
- Raven Main Title Page (24 kb)
- Background General Comments (728 kb)
- Appendix A - General Public Comments & Responses (5421 kb)
- Appendix B - Specific Public Comments & Responses (2343 kb)

Comments may be submitted:
- By Online Form:
- By Fax: 250-356-6448
- By Mail:
Rachel Shaw, Project Assessment Mgr
Environmental Assessment Office
PO Box 9426 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9V1

Comments must:
- include a reference number to the response on which you are commenting
- provide reason(s) why Compliance Coal Corporation’s response does or does not respond to the issue;
- not include attachments
- include permission to post your name and location with your comment, otherwise it will be posted as "personal information withheld"

Click here to read the Invitation to Comment
Click here to read the Public Comment Posting Policy
Click here to visit the Tracking Table page at the EAO

Joint review for Raven coal project not in cards

By Wawmeesh G. Hamilton, Alberni Valley News, November 01, 2011

The Raven Underground Coal project will not go to a joint federal-provincial review panel, the federal and provincial government said.

Next stage critical for coal review

Julia Caranci, Alberni Valley Times, November 02, 2011

Second public input period for proposed Raven Underground Coal Project will happen 'very soon'

Kelly DrybroughThe wide-ranging environmental assessment process regarding the proposed Raven Underground Coal Project is about to enter another critical phase where public comment is invited.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency spokesperson Maxine Leger-Haskell explained the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office will open a second two-week public comment period "very soon," although dates have not been released.

The first public comment period, held over May and June of this year, elicited comments and concerns from hundreds of area residents.

Synopsis of Comments Received on Draft AIR

Extract, BC EAO & CEAA, October 13, 2011

Please note: this is NOT the tracking table. That will be released in "fall of 2011." It is a "synopsis" of topics in the comments. It also addresses requests to cancel the EA and reject the project, requests for a panel review, and requests to consider carbon emissions from combustion of the coal.

Proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine

Synopsis of Comments Received During the Public Comment Period on the Draft Application Information Requirements/Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines

Approximately 3,000 public submissions were received, with many individuals providing multiple submissions. Over 5,000 comments were received, as one submission may contain numerous comments. The concerns most frequently raised included:

Possible assessment cuts worry groups

Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist, July 27, 2011

Opponents of Comox coal mine fear project may not get adequate scrutiny

Opponents of plans for a Comox Valley coal mine are worried the proposal will not get adequate scrutiny following possible budget and staff cutbacks at the federal Environmental Assessment Agency and monitoring problems at the provincial level.

Will 'Super, natural B.C.' be here for your kids?

James Walker, Times-Colonist, July 24, 2011

Province needs a 50-year vision to protect wilderness and wildlife

The province's auditor general has highlighted the need for improvement in the monitoring of environmental assessment projects and much more due diligence.

Elizabeth May discusses environmental assessments

All Points West, CBC, July 22, 2011

Elizabeth May discusses environmental assessments with host Jo-Anne Roberts on CBC's All Points West. She gives an informed context to and criticism of funding cuts of up to 50% for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency which were announced on July 20, and the recent report issued by BC's Auditor General which was harshly critical of the BC Environmental Assessment Office for all but abrogating its duty to monitor and inspect projects which have received approval.

Click here to listen to the discussion.

B.C.ʼs Prosperity Mine assessment seriously flawed: new study

News Release, Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research, July 20, 2011

Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research(Smithers) A new independent report commissioned by the Smithers-based Northwest Institute (NWI) has found serious flaws in the provincial environmental assessment of Taseko Minesʼ proposed Prosperity Mine in B.C.ʼs west Chilcotin region.

CoalWatch boss agrees B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office is weak

By Lissa Alexander, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, July 19, 2011

CoalWatch Comox Valley’s chairperson John Snyder agrees with B.C’s Auditor General John Doyle that the B.C. Environmental Assesment Office’s (BCEAO) is not doing a good enough job in protecting our environment.

Independent review of coal mine called for in light of 'broken' process

Brad Bird, Oceanside Star, July 14, 2011

Local environmentalists are critical of the provincial Environmental Assessment Office, which is one of the bodies looking at approving the Raven coal mine proposed for Buckley Bay.

CBC Almanac with Auditor General John Doyle and Calvin Sandborn

CBC Almanac's Mark Forsyth talks with Auditor General John Doyle and UVic's Environmental Law Centre's Calvin Sandborn about the Auditor General's critical report entitled An Audit of the Environmental Assessment Office's Oversight of Certified Projects, July 8, 2011.

Click here to download the podcast


Host Also, Mark Forsyth makes reference to other reports which echoed the Auditor General's concerns with the Environmental Assessment Office monitoring and assessment. One is the Forest Practices Board's report entitled Forest Resources and the Toba Montrose Creek Hydroelectric Project. The complainants were Friends of Bute Inlet and Sierra Club of BC.

Weak B.C. effort to protect environment

Les Leyne, Times Colonist, July 09, 2011

The lack of followup at the Environmental Assessment Office cited by the province's auditor general is only half the story.

The other problem with the office is the astonishing duplication of effort with the federal government, which maintains an identical office that does the identical job.

Dozy watchdog on environment

Editorial, Times-Colonist, July 9, 2011

British Columbians count on the government to protect the environment when big developments - mines, resorts, power projects and the like - are proposed. And the government has maintained that its process is rigorous and effective.

Environmental scrutiny falling short in BC: Auditor General report

By Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, July 8, 2011

A public office entrusted with monitoring environmental compliance in multi-billion-dollar industrial projects around the province is not doing its job, a scathing report by the Auditor General of B.C. said Thursday.

Big project watchdog too lax, audit says

BY JUDITH LAVOIE, Times Colonist, July 7, 2011

John DoyleEnvironmental Assessment Office failing to watch for harm: report

B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office is failing to adequately monitor major projects such as mines, power plants and tourist resorts, says B.C. auditor general John Doyle.

In a highly critical report, released Thursday, Doyle said the EAO, which is supposed to provide oversight of major projects, cannot assure the public that it is guarding against harmful environmental impacts from projects that have been approved.

Auditor slams watchdog’s lack of oversight

WENDY STUECK, Globe and Mail, Jul. 07, 2011

A provincial watchdog agency that oversees projects such as dams, mines and power plants is not doing enough to monitor and regulate projects it has approved, says a report by British Columbia Auditor-General John Doyle.

Input still filtering in, public provides comment

Keri Sculland, Alberni Valley Times, July 06, 2011

The Environmental Assessment Office has a lot of work ahead of it, posting the more than 2,500 public comments on Raven Underground's proposed coal mine project, slated for Fanny Bay.

There are still comments coming in that have been post-dated June 30 due to the postal strike, CoalWatch's John Snyder said.

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