I am writing with concern about the massive increase of coal exports proposed for Fraser Surrey docks and Neptune Terminals at Port of Vancouver.
Much of that coal is thermal coal from Wyoming and other U.S. sources.
Apparently a coal storage facility on Texada Island will handle an 18 times increase of the current volume, and this coal will be barged up the Georgia Strait past our homes on the Sunshine Coast.
I am opposed to this proposed expansion for a number of reasons.
1) Much of the coal is from American producers who are not allowed to ship their product from ports in Oregon and Washington. Also the demand for metallurgical coal, used in steel making (which B.C. has in abundance), will be increasing dramatically, as China and India expand their economies.
2) The shipment and burning of coal is detrimental to human health. Coal produces many toxic substances such as sulfur dioxide, heavy metals, benzene, radionuclides, mercury and particulates causing respiratory diseases, black lung from coal dust, congestive heart failure, cancers, renal dysfunction, nervous system damage, etc.
3) The continued burning of coal is almost certain to take us past the tipping point in the climate crisis which is upon us. Coal has the highest carbon content of any fossil fuels.
To date there has been no meaningful consultation with the public on the expansion of coal exports, and as a result, a grievous lack of attention to this issue.
Most British Columbians are not aware of its affect on our health and our communities both locally and globally. We must arm ourselves with information and speak out now.
Bette Chadwick, Sechelt