Comox Valley coal mine application unsuitable for environmental assessment

The provincial Environment Assessment Office (EAO) has decided not to accept a Raven coal mine application for detailed review.

The provincial Environment Assessment Office (EAO) has decided not to accept a Raven coal mine application for detailed review.

In a May 16 letter to John Tapics, CEO of Compliance Coal Corp., EAO project assessment manager Tracy James refers to “the major information requirements” the EAO considers to have not been adequately addressed in Compliance’s submission.

Should Compliance wish to resubmit its application, James asks Tapics to first incorporate information that it has requested.

If a revised application is received, the EAO would screen that submission, James added, saying Compliance would be informed in writing whether at that point the application had been accepted for formal environmental review.

In response to a media inquiry, Candy-Lea Chickite, community liaison for the Raven Underground Coal Project, said the company cannot comment at this time other than to say:

“We are reviewing the screening comments from the EAO, which they enclosed within a 114-page table that was provided by Compliance Coal Corporation. Not all the pages have comments, but as you can appreciate, it may take some time to work our way through the table to review them.”

The Raven Underground Coal Project near the Comox Valley communities of Buckley Bay and Fanny Bay is expected to produce about 30 million tonnes of coal and rock over a 16-year period.

The product would be trucked to a facility in Port Alberni. The total mine site surface footprint is expected to be about 200 hectares along with two hectares at the port facility.

There has been much opposition to the mine in Port Alberni and the Comox Valley, with concern expressed about negative effects on Baynes Sound shellfish aquaculture. Half of B.C.’s shellfish aquaculture industry is in Baynes Sound.