Most people on the Sunshine Coast seem to be unaware of the health and environmental risks associated with the proposed coal shipments.
The current proposal to ship millions of tons of coal, first by train to Delta, then by barge to Texada Island, then to China by cargo ship, produces an extreme risk to the health of our environment, our air, our water, our beaches, and the entire life support system of the Salish Sea.
Neither the train cars nor the barges can be covered because of the risk of spontaneous combustion. Thousands of tons of dust will be spread over our land and our water. Much of this dust will sink down and cover the underwater life of the sea. Plants like eelgrass, which support many species of fish, including forage fish species upon which the larger fish and most sea birds depend for their food, will be wiped out by a layer of this dust.
Each time this coal is moved, first when dumped from the trains in Delta, then when loaded onto the barges, then when dumped from the barges onto Texada, then picked up again and loaded onto some of the largest cargo ships in the world to go to China, there will be plumes of coal dust.
In China this coal will be burned, destroying the atmosphere we require to breathe.
Some health professionals claim the health danger from the particulate escaping from the diesel locomotives will be even more dangerous than the coal dust. Each train will be over two kilometres long, and may have six locomotives to move it.
The entire project of mining, shipping and burning of coal is insane.
Rick O’Neill, Roberts Creek