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General · 3rd November 2010
Kathy Smail
For Immediate Release, November 2, 2010

Environmental Assessment a Must for Quinsam Expansion: Trevena

(Campbell River) - North Island MLA, Claire Trevena has asked the new Ministers of the Environment and Natural Resource Operations to instigate an environmental assessment for the proposed Quinsam coal mine expansion.

“The mine is an important part of our economy, but we need to make sure that the expansion does not come at an environmental cost,” said Trevena.

“A thorough and transparent environmental assessment will ensure that the many concerns about the impact of the new mine on the watershed will be addressed.”

The proposed new area, 7 South, will produce high sulphur coal; the company plans to store potential acid generating waste rock under water in pits which were dug earlier in the mine’s history.

At issue is the potential for increased release of arsenic into the environment from the proposed expansion. Current concentrations of arsenic in Long Lake and the impacts on the local watershed are already a concern.

“This expansion will be important for jobs. But we have to make sure that it is done properly, with all safeguards in place. The government can do the right thing by ensuring there is a comprehensive environmental assessment.”

Contact: Kathy Smail, Constituency Assistant 250-287-5100