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Raven Coal Mine proponent accuses BC review agency of bias

News Release, Wilderness Committee, August 31, 2015

Compliance fails to meet deadline to provide more information on project

VICTORIA – Today in an unexpected development, Compliance Energy Corporation accused the BC Environment Assessment Office (EAO) of bias. This accusation came after the company missed an important deadline to provide the office with critical information regarding its Raven Coal Mine proposal on Vancouver Island.

Earlier this summer the EAO gave Compliance until August 28th to provide more information about the project and the company’s intentions. In a rambling letter sent last week, Compliance did not provide any new information, and instead accused the EAO of bias against the coal mine.

“Compliance Energy has consistently failed to navigate BC’s environmental review process,” said Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee. “And now, rather than provide the information requested by the EAO, the company is accusing the EAO of bias and making excuses about why its project has gotten absolutely nowhere.”

Under the BC Environmental Assessment Act, the EAO may terminate an assessment if a proponent hasn’t provided required information within three years of receiving its Application Information Requirements (AIR) – a list of information that must be included in a project’s application. Now, more than three years have passed since the AIR was issued for the Raven Coal Mine, and Compliance has still failed to meet these requirements.

In its request to Compliance the EAO didn’t outline consequences for missing this latest deadline.

“At the end of the day, this company has been given ample opportunity to make its case and it just hasn’t delivered,” said Coste. “Compliance has proven its inability to comply with deadlines and submit information on time, so it’s time for the EAO to terminate the environmental assessment for the Raven Coal Mine.”

The Raven project would see the extraction of one million tonnes of coal per year from a site in the Comox Valley just uphill from the world-renowned Fanny Bay oyster beds.

For years, the proposal has been opposed by local citizens, the shellfish industry, other business leaders, environmentalists and every municipal government in the Comox Valley. Several First Nations have expressed concern over the project’s potential impacts and the lack of consultation by Compliance.

“I think part of Compliance’s dilemma is that there is no way to responsibly justify a new coal mine on Vancouver Island,” Coste continued. “This is a bad project with essentially zero public support, and the company needs to realize that and move on.”


For more information, contact:

Torrance Coste | Vancouver Island Campaigner, Wilderness Committee
(250) 516-9900