The public needs to know the full risks of the Telkwa Coal Mine
Petition to: Matthew Rogers, Project Lead for the BC Environmental Assessment Office; Nathan Cullen, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Stikine; George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy; and Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
Petition created by: What Matters In Our Valley
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The public engagement process to date has included a small number of Open Houses where Telkwa Coal was provided with an opportunity to present its arguments in favour of the mine.

A review of the mine proposal by outside experts has determined that Telkwa Coal has failed to perform adequate studies to determine the full extent of the risk and/or is not assessing these issues in a way commensurate with the problems they pose. Click here for expert reports.

There has not been an opportunity for a public airing of the full risks associated with this proposal should it be approved by the BC Environmental Assessment Office. Those risks include:
  1.  The release of acid rock drainage materials and heavy metals, including selenium into creeks adjoining the mine site, which then flow into the Telkwa River;
  2.  Damage to the fish that spawn in these waters including salmon and steelhead. Historically, these creeks have been important spawning grounds for Telkwa steelhead and, therefore for steelhead throughout the Skeena system;
  3. Risk to employees and residents from a potential mine dam collapse that could put as many as 200 people in jeopardy and permanently damage the water quality in both the Telkwa and Wetzinkwa/Bulkley Rivers;
  4. Risk of the release of particulate matter and other air pollution that would add to our already high pollution levels, as well as the risk of coal dust and other substances being deposited throughout the Valley'
  5. Risk of noise pollution due to explosives used at the mine;
  6. Risk to the Telkwa Caribou herd which is at imminent threat of extirpation.
We believe that we deserve an opportunity to have a full airing of these issues before the Province makes a decision on whether to approve the mine.

We are aware that the Town of Smithers Mayor and Council have also made a request for additional public engagement on the proposal.

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We the undersigned members of the public are calling upon the BC Environmental Assessment Office to hold a public meeting on the proposed Tenas (Telkwa) Coal mine before the 180 day environmental assessment process ends. We are concerned that we have not been provided with meaningful opportunities to engage with the risks that the mine poses to our communities and lives.


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