Blowback should ring alarm bells

Coast Reporter
April 25, 2014 11:21 AM

Editor:

Even the possibility that a proposal to burn Vancouver garbage in Howe Sound might send toxic winds blowing over Metro’s pristine North Shore watershed should be ringing alarm bells from Point Grey to the Fraser Valley.

To make matters worse, winter Squamish outflow winds carrying emissions from the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Woodfibre will only complicate matters.

Considering B.C.’s famously inadequate air monitoring system, which relies on industry self-policing, and recent B.C. government reluctance to require rigorous environmental assessments for other LNG projects, Lower Mainland residents who take pride in their drinking water should be paying attention.

Local sailors know how the tall mountains and rugged landscape in Howe Sound’s scenic fjordland can act like a giant funnel with sometimes fierce winds that are quirky and unpredictable. Loading this confined airshed with its highly variable dispersal and dilution factors with additional incineration of hundreds of thousands of tons of Metro plastic, paper, unsorted garbage and construction waste may be putting Metro Vancouver water quality at risk without detailed scientific studies.

Even with the best monitoring and the rosiest predictions, the garbage incineration proposal will be worrisome to people with health issues; especially at a time when public confidence in government impartiality is shaky at best.

When it comes to protecting water supplies, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) should also be on notice. Chapman Creek watershed lies a very few kilometres downwind and uphill from a possible Port Mellon incinerator where melting snows and creeks will carry fallout to Sechelt’s kitchen taps.

This may not be the kind of recycling the SCRD had in mind when it signed the Multi-Material BC contract, which includes possible incineration of Coast recyclables. But nature does have a way of evening up the score.

Joe Harrison, Garden Bay


© Coast Reporter

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Coast Reporter welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus
Coast Reporter

Email to a Friend

Close

QUESTION OF THE WEEK POLL

Are you pleased with the shíshálh’s announcement to protect the lower slopes of Mount Elphinstone?

or  view results

Click here to read story

Popular Coast Reporter

Community Event Calendar


Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.