From Wendy Bales. The public will have a second chance at having a say over a zone permitting barge loading in Mission. The public meeting will be @ 6 pm, on Monday August 18th @ Mission City Hall.
The purpose of the proposed amendment is to amend the text of Zoning Bylaw 5050-2009 by:
a) deleting Section 1004 Industrial General Zones in its entirety, and replacing it with a
new Section 1004 – Industrial General Zones which includes a new Industrial General
Two (ING2) Zone permitting barge loading;
Although there is currently limited barging grandfathered in the Mission district this new zone will facilitate expansion of barging. At a July 2013 FVRD board meeting, Mission and Abbotsford’s Mayors spoke in support of USA coal being transported through the Fraser Valley by rail. Could it be that there is a bigger plan to transport more coal by barge as well?
My own concern is that the new zone will facilitate increased coal transport through the Fraser Valley by rail and barging on the river. If that is part of the plan it could in turn bring increased risk to prime Sturgeon and Salmon habitat, as well as health impacts to those living along the rail corridor. If so what are safe limits for expanding barge traffic on the river? Were there studies done that show safe limits? Who has the manpower to regulate expanded barging safety on the river and the impacts to other river users? After the Mount Polley Mine disaster, does the public have faith in the government’s ability to be able to monitor a safe balance for barging and other traffic on the river as well as being able to regulating safe limits?
At the first public meeting on this zoning proposed, the Sturgeon Society, said reported that Sturgeon can bring about 6 Million a year to the local economy. Another angler reported that guided tours bring in tens of millions in guided tours, about 36 thousand per angler day to the local economy.
Previous to the current Mission council, the last council spent 8 hundred thousand on waterfront enhancement as part of Experience the Fraser. There is industry now, but is there room for increase industry, alongside a cleaner habitat and tourism based vision and economy for the waterfront? Or could one tip the balance adversely affecting the other? After Last week’s Polley Mine disaster do you have faith in the government’s ability to be able to monitor a safe balance?
Below are just a few of many other extra article sources:
A picture really is worth a thousand words in this article. With barge loading as well as trains that deliver the coal, comes dust.
How will extra coal trains affect our strained capacity rail lines? What would be the health impacts to those living along the lines?
Is it a good time economically to be investing in expanding coal facilities, or should B.C follow the trends in other countries and invest in energy conservation technology and renewable energy sources?
Some of the external costs of coal:
Beijing air pollution now 800% higher than WHO limits
Washington Health Professionals Against Coal Export
Coal Company Fined $27.5m for Poisoning Waterways Across Five States 6,000 Times in 6 Years
Corporate Deregulation To Blame for Toxic Spill in West Virginia
British Columbians fear expanding coal industry poses health hazards
Wendy Bales is the Director for Area C on the Fraser Valley Regional District