TAKE ACTION… Contact Health Minister Terry Lake AND ask him to use his authority and authorize the Health Impact Assessment now
The Power is in the People
Change comes from the bottom, and that is not a bad thing. Collectively, we have the ability to influence decision makers and to demand that our representatives look out for the interests of the public. It is about balancing business with people.
GO TO: http://communitiesandcoal.com/?page_id=1618
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BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas gave the update this week, confirming at the same time that the timeline does not mean access to the bridge has been worked out with the Semiahmoo First Nation.
“This is complicated… a very complex legal matter and a legal issue,” Charles told Peace Arch News.
The issue is particularly important for residents of the coastal towns that ring the Salish Sea, a group of waterways shared by Washington State and British Columbia that includes the Puget Sound. A region that historically has been “at the vanguard of environmental progress globally is right at the cusp of becoming one of the world’s biggest fossil fuel export hubs,” said Eric de Place, policy director for the Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based environmental think tank.
“The City of White Rock would like to see all dangerous goods re-routed to the Sumas Crossing, or some other route available to the BNSFR,” the letter states.
Informed Wednesday of White Rock’s letter, an Abbotsford councillor said re-routing dangerous goods through his community would be “shifting a problem to a different jurisdiction.”
Issue an order approving BNSF Railway Co.’s (BNSF) petition for an overhead clearance waiver at the re-spray facility proposed to be built on BNSF property at Pasco, WA.
The commission considered the petition at its regularly scheduled open meeting on April 24, 2014. BNSF, Sierra Club and individual citizens in Washington and British Columbia provided oral comments. Additional questions were raised by the Sierra Club and citizens at the open meeting which include:
Postpone action on the petition to enable further legal briefing on the Commission’s jurisdiction to address issues;
Further investigation needed regarding the health and safety issues raised by the proposal.
BNSF responded that the issues raised by the Sierra Club are unrelated to the request for an exemption of the close clearance waiver and that federal agencies are the appropriate forum for addressing these concerns. In addition, BNSF stated that it was making every effort to minimize the impact of the spraying on the environment and people by enclosing the re-spray facility.
The Commissioners moved to issue an order approving the exemption from WAC 480-60-040, relating to overhead clearances. In addition, a revised order should be prepared to include a discussion of the commission’s jurisdiction, role in public safety and clarify that the commission makes no findings or conclusions concerning the environmental, health, and safety issues raised by the Sierra Club and other interested persons. The petition will be rescheduled to the May 8, 2014, open meeting for final consideration.
READ MORE RE: Second coal spraying operation
Coal from the U.S. would be hauled by rail through White Rock, South Surrey and Delta to Fraser Surrey Docks and then be barged to Texada, where it would be reloaded to ocean-going ships. (…)
Area residents say coal from the existing operation has repeatedly ended up on the beach at Texada despite the permit banning releases into the water or foreshore. They say they’ve brought evidence to the province but have been ignored. (…)
Alan Fryer, spokesman for the Coal Alliance, said the many twists and turns of the approval process is improving the Fraser Surrey Docks proposal.
He said revisions have eliminated an originally planned coal stockpile in Surrey that was a concern to New Westminster residents.
Fryer also noted BNSF Rail has agreed to spray trains to suppress coal dust just before they cross the border into B.C.