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Comox Valley Regional District wants measures to safeguard shellfish aquaculture

The Comox Valley Regional District board is calling for a comprehensive mapping of aquifers that could be affected by the Raven Underground Coal Mine Project proposed for Baynes Sound.

The board is also calling on the Province to conduct an independent baseline study of Baynes Sound, and on the federal government to refer the environmental assessment of the project to an independent review panel with public hearings.

The board unanimously approved the above motions from Area A director Bruce Jolliffe, who spoke about the mine's threat to the long-term viability of the shellfish industry in Baynes Sound.

"This is not a new request," said Jolliffe, adding the Province has not responded to requests outlined in his motion.

Courtenay director Jon Ambler said the population at large has "grave concerns" about the mine.

While she is not against coal mining, Cumberland director Gwyn Sproule recognizes Baynes Sound is a sensitive area.

"There's a lot at stake for everybody," she said.

The mine is expected to operate 16 years, and to produce about 350 full-time jobs, 200 construction jobs and 400 to 500 spinoff jobs. Compliance Coal Corporation CEO John Tapics has said the average mining salary is about $100,000 a year.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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