I could scarcely believe my eyes when I read the comments from the writer in the recent “Have your Say” section which suggested the coal dust produced at Union Bay when the coal processing site was operating “probably helped filter the waters of Baynes Sound and made the production of oysters possible.” The writer also suggests the coal processing didn’t harm the pristine waters.
I would like to remind the writer and others that the negative health impacts of coal dust are well documented. Studies have shown that acid rock drainage and metals-leaching discharges are migrating to the marine environment from the Waste Coal Pile site in Union Bay. A remediation plan is currently being drafted to determine what to do with this toxic waste dump site.
The long-term negative impacts of coal processing at Union Bay are with us today, some 50 years after processing ceased. I’m willing to bet the taxpayers of British Columbia will be on the hook for the remediation costs at the Waste Coal Pile Site as well.