CoalWatch sheds light on Raven’s withdrawn coal mine application

Compliance Coal withdrew its application earlier this month to build a coal mine near Buckley Bay

  • Mar. 17, 2015 2:00 p.m.

CoalWatch has released the missing information it says Compliance Coal failed to provide to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office in the company’s latest bid to build a coal mine near Buckley Bay.

A review of the 62-page EAO Application Evaluation Comment tracking table indicates that required information on significant issues was still missing in the latest Compliance Application, according to a news release from the Comox-Valley based group.

According to CoalWatch, the missing information included items such as: hydrogeology/groundwater, socio-economics, public health, public consultation, marine environment baseline studies, Aboriginal interests/rights/consultation and potential effects of the proposed project and proposed mitigation.

“In a nutshell, this latest Compliance application failed to include the required information on many facets of the Raven Coal Mine Project from Fanny Bay to Port Alberni,” said CoalWatch president John Snyder. “A lot of the missing information included key issues of concern raised by the public for the past five years, and for whatever reason Compliance has once again failed to adequately address these key concerns in their Application.”

Compliance CEO Stephen Ellis told The NEWS this month the company’s application was withdrawn due to “misinformation” circulating in some communities regarding the Raven Coal Mine project. He would not elaborate on what he meant by “misinformation.”

In the news release, Snyder said CoalWatch believes this EAO Application Evaluation Comment tracking table gives a greater insight into the “missing information” identified by the EAO through its evaluation of the Compliance application.

“CoalWatch believes the public is well served by having access to the Application evaluation comments, and we applaud the EAO for making this information available to the public,” said Snyder.

This was Compliance’s second application to the BCEAO in relation to the Raven proposal. Its first was rejected in May of 2013.

On its website and in NEWS stories, Compliance claimed the proposed Raven project would contribute approximately $1.1 billion to the economies of the surrounding regions. Compliance said 200 construction jobs and 350 “well-paying, full-time mine, port and transportation jobs” would be created if the project was approved. The proposed mine site is a few kilometres west of Buckley Bay and less than 50 kilometres from downtown Qualicum Beach.

Among the groups that pledged support for the project was the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce.

Compliance CEO Ellis has said the company may still pursue the project.

— NEWS Staff

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