Close the sketchy assessment loophole
Dear B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman:
Recognizing the fragile ecosystem comprising the Saanich Inlet and Mill Bay, I strongly believe an environmental assessment must be undertaken forthwith to fully understand potential outcomes of allowing this potentially harmful quarry project.
I note our environment ministry does not require impact assessments for ongoing mining projects whose proposals do not exceed 50 per cent.
This particular project’s amendment would boost the quarry’s size by 47 per cent — just under our ministry’s legal radar.
How legally convenient for the project’s owners — but at what eco-cost?
I also note you indicated in a recent House question period this project was not going to be reviewed.
This would, in my humble option, be egregious considering potential degraded future of our ecosystem in question.
I concur with MLA Adam Olsen that this legal provincial loophole must be closed as it essentially allows quarry operators — including the Malahat Nation — to expand their allegedly deleterious mining operations by less than 50 per cent without ever being required to complete an environmental assessment.
Minister Heyman, in all logic, are such petty percentages — albeit legal — really in the best interest of British Columbia’s ecological interests?
Please call for an environmental assessment of this worrying application, and close this sketchy assessment gap.
Yours in environmental protection,
Peter W. Rusland