The following letter was sent to Port Metro Vancouver and copied to Coast Reporter.
The Sunshine Coast Clean Air Society is opposed to a coal transfer facility at Fraser Surrey Docks and the transport of coal to Texada Island on the Sunshine Coast for the following reasons:
• There are health hazards due to the transportation of coal and coal dust such as increased damage to cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, increased asthma attacks, heart attacks and ER visits, and increased incidences of bronchitis and risk of cancer. Children and the elderly are most susceptible to coal dust pollutants such as mercury and sulphur.
• There’s increased cost to our health care system because of these health hazards. The coal industry is passing on their costs to the health system/taxpayer.
• Coal, more than any other source of energy, contributes to greenhouse gases and climate change. It’s the dirtiest form of energy. Coal dust is a major air pollutant.
The Sunshine Coast Clean Air Society joins others in opposing your coal project: Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, British Columbia Nurses’ Union, the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities, the provincial chief medical officer, the Sunshine Coast Regional District, our MLA Nicholas Simons, and the shíshálh Nation.
The World Bank in 2013 stopped financing the construction of coal-fired power plants in developing countries due to global warming impacts.
We support the shíshálh Nation on the Sunshine Coast, whose traditional waters could be contaminated by coal dust, in their request for a full environmental assessment, a health impact assessment, a navigational risk assessment, an environmental management plan, a spill response plan, and an air quality management plan.
Elizabeth McNeill, for the S.C. Clean Air Society