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Site: Prince Mine, Point Aconi Block
|27 September 2009 - KABOOM! There was another powerfull blast on Friday
as Pioneer Coal continues to rape and pillage the DNR Crown land at Point
Aconi as fast as possible under the pretext of cleaning up Devco's old
Prince Mine. After CASM posted photos of the mud flowing down their man made
hill, a sloped road has been carved into the side of it. At the top of the
hill of DNR's reclaimed woodlands and wetlands is a pond of water. At the
other side of the site, water continues to percolate out of the ground and
flow into Coal Hollow Brook, but so long as no one asks and they don't tell,
what no one knows won't hurt us, eh? Meanwhile, cleanup of Devco's old
Princess Mine in Sydney Mines is on schedule for completion this fall. "A
plastic liner is being used to cover the waste rock pile. Once the liner is
in place, the area will be covered with topsoil, seeded and transformed into
a park-like setting with walking trails." There's no such plan at Pioneer's
Prince. The "flagship test case" at Point Aconi of what to do with Devco's
coal rights and properties that was a "no is not an option" "done deal"
behind closed doors before the public found out about it is an example of
what can still happen anywhere, the local residents and communities have no
rights, no say, no seat at the table.
September 2009 - After 3 years of "reclamation" at DNR's "flagship test case", and a Reclamation Study by their panel of experts, and Terms of Conditions of Approval that requires a review of Pioneer's project after 3 years, there's no sign of any public information or consultation from the usual suspects. Instead, what was a flat coastal Crown woodland and rare wetlands is now a huge hill higher than the hydro poles with some grubbings dumped on it. We hear that the Novaminer got stuck just when they were about to start highwall mining under the ocean so that's been nixed! Pioneer wasted no time covering up the holes they've created under the pretext of cleaning up old hand dug crop pits. The pit Pioneer excavated next to the Prince Mine Road that was filled in after CASM complained of acid mine drainage has been excavated again, presumably in preparation for highwall mining under the homes on Forrest Lane.
August 2009 update – Three days after extending the moratorium on
“reclamation” of the other 13 sites across CBRM for another three years the
MacDonald government fell on a confidence vote and was relegated to 3rd
party status in a historic June 9, 2009 election of an NDP majority
government in Nova Scotia. Point Aconi’s Regressive Conservative MLA Cecil
Clarke (right) was re-elected by the seat of his pants aided by his
significant other campaign manager Kirk MacRae (left) and hasn’t been seen
days after the election Environment’s Inspector Langille called a
complainant of the previous week’s blast and was an entirely different
person than we’ve been dealing with for the past 3 years. There hasn’t been
a blast since, and he arranged for us to get a copy of the blast reports
without having to go through FOIPOP. Since “reclamation” of the “Prince Mine
site” began there have been 46 blasts all near the maximum allowable
concussion and vibration levels
under the Tory government’s false pretext of cleaning up old hand dug crop
pits on coastal DNR Crown land that has never been mined before, Pioneer
Coal has blasted and excavated a huge 160 foot deep pit and has been
creating more holes as it highwall mines under the land and under the ocean
and nearby homes for high sulphur “surface” coal as fast as they can before
the 2010 emission targets are enforced and there's no legal market for the
high polluting coal.
Under the Tory government’s guise of “progressive rehabilitation”, under the direction of NSE's anonymous Community Liaison Committee that holds secret meetings and submitted a secret land use plan to the government, a huge stockpile of various materials excavated from the “Prince Mine site” higher than the tree tops has been covered with soil and some clumps of vegetation dug up from somewhere else and dumped on what was a rare peat bog forest full of all kinds of wildlife and rare plants before the government’s “clean up” began.
A treasure trove of 350 million year old fossils being excavated during the process that rivals Joggins is being laid to waste while the local first class fossil center in Sydney Mines, that attracts visitors from across the continent, is denied funding or access to the site because MLA Cecil Clarke wants to turn the museum into a call centre.
Point Aconi is a prime example of the Tories legacy of “sustainability” and “environmental goals” that bring “economic prosperity” for their friends in the mining industry and undermine any other development for decades to come.
DNR’s Scott Swindon has finally agreed to another meeting with Nova Scotia’s environmental groups to discuss, among other things, “sustainability” and “reclamation” using a “critical thinking process”, but still won't admit it's mining!
15 April 2009 - While the recent Case
Study identified Acid Rock Drainage as the major environmental issue and can
be exacerbated by fissures caused from blasting and its discharge is an
indictable offence punishable by a jail term, evidently NSE's method for
dealing with this liability is to continue to deny that the problem even
exists! NSE's Inspector has finally noticed that Devco removed the pipe from
the pumphouse to Coal Hollow Brook but says there was no "flow" in it, and
Pioneer plugged bootleg workings on its strip of land in March, so now "a
visible flow continues to discharge to Coal Hollow Brook, presumably from a
bootleg pit on an adjacent parcel of private land" where CASM's photo shows
there was no "flow" before! There was no "flow" at all prior to Pioneer's
"reclamation" of the Prince Mine site. Meanwhile, the Case Study revealed
that a Ministerial review of the Moratorium on the other sites "might occur
sometime in May". If there's not a much needed non-confidence vote before
3 April 2009 - 3 years ago today
Premier MacDonald flew over old mine sites in the area and said he was
"upset" at what he saw and announced a 3 year moratorium on the 13 other
sites across the region. Today Pioneer blasted sky high more DNR Crown
wetlands for high sulphur coal to burn at NSPI's power plants under the
deceitful guise of "reclamation" at Rodney's 3 year "flagship test case" in
Point Aconi. Time's up!
In response to CASM's Application for Investigation last September of the flooding around the pumphouse that could be heard gushing into the roadway ditch, NSE's Inspector said that he "did not observe an offsite discharge", and that "a significant additional volume of water compared to what is present in Photo 36 is required to result in an offsite discharge."
But now that the snow has melted and the grass is low anyone can easily see the trench of water running down the hill just inside the fence, then flow around the pump house where it pools in the grass at the corner of Point Aconi Road, and is discharged through a blue pipe into the roadway ditch which then flows through a culvert under the road and into Coal Hollow Brook. Imagine what else is going on out of sight out of mind while the Premier from Cape Breton fiddles and step dances as they all pass the buck around and NSE's Inspector keeps his blinders on! What if it's your home being blasted and highwall mined under or flooded, who ya gonna call? Your MLA Cecil Clarke? Good luck!
Pioneer's Novaminer is here!
22 March 2009 - The Tories crime against Cape Breton is about to
get a lot worse under their deceitful definition of "surface mining" and
spin doctoring about "cleaning up" the Prince Mine. Pioneer Coal recently
brought in its Novaminer Highwall Miner to mine 24 hours a day under the
ocean and the homes on Forrest Lane that they were supposed to buy under the
Terms and Conditions of Approval, but it's proven time and time again to be
a completely meaningless document as they rape and pillage for high sulphur
coal as fast as possible, in violation of every environmental standard on
the planet. Meanwhile, in keeping with the Tories lack of respect for the
local community's well founded concerns and their flawed management
processes, yet another 3 months have passed and still the regulators at NSE
have not provided any updates as promised in their response to CASM's
Application for Investigation. And
there's still no public consultation whatsoever about the "reclamation" of
this coastal DNR Crown land at the mouth of the Bras d'Or lakes, nor any
update from the promoters at DNR on their 3 year "Reclamation Study" by a
panel of experts and Moratorium on the other old mine sites across CBRM.
"It is abundantly clear that the land
on this property is in a derelict state, from years of underground mining
and bootlegging. There can be no question that a significant effort is
required to return this property to a safe and productive state, and it
remains my conviction that the best means to effect this is to allow the
remaining coal to be recovered, and to allow this recovery to pay for the
remediation. I believe that the end result will be a benefit for the land
and for the community."
- Premier Rodney MacDonald
11 May 2006
Rodney's Park 3 years later
"I've seen some of those sites and it upset me to the point where we have now launched this new review of the historic sites to see what we can do to enhance them with vegetation and make the land useable." - Premier Rodney MacDonald, 16 May 2006 after flying over previous strip mine sites in the region.
2006 - Before along Sherie Lee
Lane, Point Aconi:
|15 January 2009
- Gee, what are the chances that NSE’s Inspector has taken his blinders off
and observed the remediation work being done between the pump house and
Pioneer’s culvert at Coal Hollow Brook as part of Devco’s
Devco has dug a hole and removed part of the tunnel from the pump house to
seal it off.
Last year’s Application for Investigation revealed that NSE had not reviewed Devco’s environmental assessment of the Prince Mine before issuing approval for Pioneer Coal’s project. This year, evidently they still don’t collaborate or share information with Devco, so NSE pleads ignorance and are still “reviewing” the area 5 months after an affected landowner officially complained of discharges from the culvert on Pioneer's strip into the brook! What other “details” does NSE still not know about the mine site and Pioneer Coal failed to report?!
|22 December 2008 - The Environment Department's Inspector hand delivered his response to CASM's Application for Investigation of Coal Hollow Brook and other concerns. As expected, he whitewashes everything everyone can see with their own eyes and that he and the 3 stooges won't stand up and do what ought to be done before any more predictable damage is done by their "reclamation" of old mines sites and their failure to insist on a proper environmental assessment and inspection.|
|20 December 2008 – Four months have passed since
affected landowners in Point Aconi formally complained under the Environment
Act about the obvious pollution of Coal Hollow Brook but the Department has
still not responded or shown any respect whatsoever for the public’s
concerns. Instead we hear they’ve been busy conjuring up a cockamamie story
about a dog falling into a hole that Pioneer filled in that caused the
problem at the culvert, but it’s taken two years for the Environment
Department to find out about it and only because the public complained.
Since the Department still has not bothered to find out where the old
underground workings go or whether they’ve collapsed from Pioneer’s blasting
and excavating, they don’t know where the mine water goes until it starts
flowing into our brooks and wells and fishing grounds and the damage is
done. Enforcement of the Environment Act is entirely at the Minister’s
discretion and evidently instead of addressing the problem Mark Parent
continues to cover up for Pioneer Coal while the public pays the price for
this corrupt political patronage for generations to come.
"Mining activities in Nova Scotia are regulated both federally and provincially, and are subject to environmental assessments and industrial approvals. Such approvals involve stringent requirements for the removal and treatment of contaminants prior to discharge to the environment. Discharge limits are placed on any releases such that the environment and downstream water uses, including habitat for aquatic life, are protected - consistent with the federal Fisheries Act. Moreover, any approvals that my Department may issue for such an activity would require a review by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to ensure that provisions of the Fisheries Act are met."- Environment Minister Mark Parent lies again, 5 December 2008
|6 December 2008 - Since CASM
formally complained to the Environment Department three months ago about
the adverse effects being caused by the "reclamation" of Point Aconi, many
of the problems have been quietly covered up or mitigated. The Inspector's
response required under the
Environment Act is due December 25th, but as happened before, we expect the
guts of it will be squelched under the Freedom of Information and Privacy
Act and Pioneer Coal's record will remain squeaky clean. The Premier and
Cabinet Ministers responsible would rather no one ever mention the obvious
facts about their "flagship" "test case" to prove they can clean up old mine
sites the "environmentally right way" before lifting their moratorium on
other sites across the region and province wide in the next few months.
Coal Hollow Brook the property line has been blazed between Devco and
Pioneer's property but there's still no word on what the various responsible
bodies plan on doing about the obvious pollution of the brook this summer.
Environment went ballistic when they found out DFO and Devco had been
notified and had sent in their own water tester when they couldn't get any
straight answers either.
doubt Environment's report will be similar to their
coverup of the discharge of "orange
percipitate" into MacDonald Brook last year. Environment claimed the only
problem was "aeshetic" but the culvert and the well and the acid mine
drainage have since vanished without a trace!
If Devco's old culverts are sealed off it throws the approved water management plan right out the window and raises some obvious questions: where is the mine water being discharged to, where do the underground workings go? Do we find out when it starts springing up in our brooks and water wells and farming and fishing grounds?
topsoil has been pushed into the pit behind the homes on Forrest Lane to
neutraize and cover up the acid mine drainage in what was supposed to be
Excavation #1 that evidently has not proceeded according to the
ill-conceived plan approved by the Environment Dept. that refuses to allow
an independent review of the project.
overflowing brook behind the overburden stockpiles has been cut off, now
it's gushing out of the pond where it has washed out the road on
neighbouring private property.
water from the wetlands between the stockpile and the shore is now being
drained into the excavated pit over a year after it was reported to
water along the perimeter of the workarea has been covered up and another
drainage pipe installed nearby.
still no drainage in the ditch while apparently they're covering up the acid
mine drainage above the underground portals.
have been posted inside the mine site about the warning signals when
shoreline was drilled with dynamite holes and blown up but the rubble
remains several months later at what was supposed to be Excavation #2.
Evidently nothing is being done according to the approved "progressive
again, after a formal public complaint to the Environment Department their
anonymous Community Liaison Committee that refuses to meet with the
community finally posted the minutes from their latest meeting at the gas
station on the highway that passes the requirement for public consultation.
100 acres of healthy woodlands and wetlands at Point Aconi have been
thoroughly destroyed to "clean up" an old mine shaft, there's another 6,000
to go across the province under DNR's no is not an option
"Reclamation Challenge" that disregards the
obvious environmental consequences for generations to come.
MacDonald's dirty secret remains under wraps as no one dares to inform the
public that they've been strip mining and trucking the local high sulhur
coal and burning it at Lingan for over a year now in violation of every
emission standard in the book and under false
"There is no way we could meet local emissions standards with local coal" - Nova Scotia Power
30 November 2008 - Two years after
the Environment Department learned about the presence of wetlands disturbed
by the construction of a "haul road" along the Hub Seam, the area has been
strip mined and refilled and graded, flooding and killing the woodlands
along side it, while the beaver living in the lagoon was reportedly shot.
Two years after the Environment Department learned about the "orange
percipitate" being discharged from the settling ponds into
MacDonald/Morrison Brook and swore it was harmless, the well and the
discharge pipe and the orange pericipitate have completely disappeared! So
where is the mine water being discharged? There's still nothing coming out
of the pipe from the "reclamation" of the DNR Crown land along the shore
where fox and deer tracks can be seen circling around the edge of the
observation shows something's been happening at Coal Hollow Brook since
local landowners reported 3 months ago that the brook had turned orange but
Environment's Inspector still hasn't done anything to stop the flow of
contaminants into our fishing grounds. Hopefully the arrival of the feds on
the scene will smarten them up in a hurry and Rodney's Reclamationists will
have some explaining to do about his "cleanup" of Point Aconi this
"environmentally right way".
November 4 - Rodney's raping and
pillaging of Boularderie Island based on blatant deceit and disinformation
about "reclamation" the "environmentally right way" continues with impunity
as top soil is removed from Coastal Construction's Cabinet Approved site to
coverup the toxic ash dump at NSPI's "cleanest" power plant.
"Forest cover is widespread in the claim block and consists of a fairly even mix of softwood, mixedwood and hardwood forest. Wetland habitat is not abundant in this claim block; however, a variety of wetland types are present including bogs, fens, deep marsh, shrub swamp and estuarine flat (Figure 5.4A). Several areas of important wildlife habitat are found in the western part of the claim block including Wood Duck nest boxes along Aconi Brook and a Bald Eagle nest east of Mill Pond. There are a number of habitats present in the claim block that have elevated potential to provide habitat for rare or endangered species of plants and animals. These include the various wetland habitats, riparian areas, sea cliffs, and marine shore lines." - Cumulative Effects Assessment of Surface Coal Mining in CBRM, September 2005
Just don't call it a coal mine or a reclamation project or a wetland or a brook, and strip mine it in under 2 hectare sections and voila, the Environment Act doesn't even apply and their Inspector knows nothing about it!!!
3, 2008 - Now that the feds know about the Acid Mine Drainage from the
culvert into Coal Hollow Brook the evidence appears to have been neutralized
with lots of lime. The Acid Mine Drainage in the pit has been covered with
topsoil, and Morrison Pond is also milky since they used it as an illegal
truck route. Construction of the coal processing facility that was not in
the Approval continues. A lake has formed where Pioneer removed topsoil from
across the road outside of the approved Mining Blocks while trucks leaving
the site kick up a dust storm. But still no response from Nova Scotia's
Department of Environment to formal complaints from affected local
landowners as conditions go from bad to worse.
October 31, 2008 - Almost 3 months have passed
since an affected homeowner filed an
Application for Investigation under the Environment Act of Acid Mine
Drainage being discharged from an old Devco culvert into Coal Hollow Brook
and pinpointed the location on a property map with the PID#. Evidently
NSDE's Inspector Specialist has been so busy covering up for Pioneer Coal
that he still has not contacted the property owner who says they know
nothing about it!!! The location is marked on the map of Devco's
Franklyn Project that was
recently distributed to homes in the areas of Devco's planned remediation of
its properties. Devco says Pioneer was required to pump the discharge from
the Prince Mine site into the underground workings, not into the brook.
Devco asked if Environment inspected the site but no one's been able to get
a straight answer out of them so Devco's going to call NS Dept. of
Environment and find out what the hell's going on here and get back to us!
Update: After the different powers that be blew a few gaskets over who said what to whom, apparently the culvert is on the strip of land that Devco conveyed to Pioneer Coal. Devco used to monitor Coal Hollow Brook until they sold the property, since then it's Pioneer and the province's responsibility. As of 13 November 2008, NSDE still has not responded to the public's "allegations" about the obvious pollution in the brook, haven't even so much as said thanks for the info we'll look into it.
December 5, 2003 -
Cape Breton Coal Exploration Call Issued
30 October 2008 - Proving yet again
that their word is worthless, DNR has thrown the terms of their Special
License to explore the Boularderie Island Resource Block out the window, and
NSDE has thrown its
Guide to Surface Coal Mine Reclamation Plans out the window as they
grease the wheels for Coastal Construction & Co. to slide through the under
2 hectare loopholes and strip mine topsoil from their Boularderie
"reclamation" block and truck it to NSPI's ash dump without any
Environmental Assessment and public consultation as promised, and despite
Rodney's moratorium, etc., etc.!!! Meanwhile up the road, to mitigate
complaints of the effects of the blasting in the area, Pioneer has installed
a new sign at the entrance to its Prince Mine "reclamation" site!
27 October 2008 - After 2 weeks of passing the buck it
took a public protest and media inquiries for the government to do what the
project's Monitoring and Compliance Inspector ought to have done in the
first place - the barricade has been put back up on Sherie Lee Lane and the
loader is heading back to where it came from. Doesn't look like Pioneer Coal
is going to be sneeking out any more topsoil any time soon, but as usual,
the irreparabe damage is already done with no penalty to Rodney's favourite
Many thanks to everyone who came to the protest on Sherie Lee Lane on Friday!!! As a result, Vehicle Compliance and the Transportation department ordered Pioneer Coal and Nova Scotia Power's contractors to stop using construction trucks along Sherie Lee Lane and are meeting about it on Monday, and the Natural Resources department is investigating their role in the matter. Still no word from the Environment department acknowledging any responsibilities or jurisdiction for this project creep across Morrison Pond, out of sight out of mind.
October 24, 2008! - Almost two
weeks ago CASM noticed that they're hauling overburden material from Pioneer
Coal's reclamation of DNR's Crown land at Point Aconi to NSPI's ash dump
along the back dirt road across Morrison Pond in contravention of everything
in the book. As usual, the Environment department responsible for
monbitoring and compliance of the project passed the buck, this time to the
Transportation department. But they claim to know diddly squat, couldn't
even find Sherie Lee Lane after closing off a portion of it through the mine
site last year, and passed the buck to Vehicle Compliance. But the trucks
weren't hauling all week, until today when the vehicle compliance officer
was on the other side of the island! About 30 concerned residents drove up
the public access portion of Sherie Lee Lane and ended up in a traffic jam
of construction trucks. After a few hours the Transportation department
finally admitted that the off road construction trucks should not be on the
public road and shut them down. An hour later they were hauling again
anyway, until Vehicle Compliance arrived back in the area and shut them
down! No fines on the promise they'll fix the damage they've done to the
road and stop using construction trucks on it. Now if only someone can get
Environment and Natural Resources to answer as to why they're hauling
overburden from the supposed reclamation of DNR Crown land to NSPI's ash
dump in the first place since it's not mentioned in the environmental
assessment and approval of Pioneer Coal's project, and violates the Guide to
Surface Coal Mine Reclamation Plans that Pioneer Coal is required to adhere
to under Environment Minister Mark Parent's Terms and Conditions of Appoval
that proves yet again to be a completely meaningless document. Meanwhile,
Environment's completely useless and anonymous Community Liaison Committe
has posted it's first meeting minutes in over a year. The July 2008 minutes
announce that the Chairman has resigned, another three months later and the
Environment department still hasn't disbanded this disreputable farce and do
it right, while Pioneer flaunts that they can do whatever they want and the
government claims there's no complaints!
"The Governor in Council on the report and recommendation of the Minister of Natural Resources dated February 21, 2007 is pleased to approve the issuance of a lease by the Minister of Natural Resources of a parcel of Crown land containing 61.24 hectares, situated at Point Aconi in the County of Cape Breton to Pioneer Coal Limited for the purpose of surface mining for coal and the placement of infrastructure necessary to develop and operate a surface coal mine and for no other purpose, for a term of ten (10) years at the annual rent to be calculated by multiplying the appraised market value of the land by 10%." - March 12, 2007
"It's a remediation plan to clean up a couple of centuries of coal mining, often bootleg mines. At the end of the day it has been shown in many cases that the land is in much better condition afterwards and we look forward to the completion of the remediation of Port Aconi.” - Natural Resources Minister David Morse in House of Assembly, 28 March 2007, Hansard
"The proponent shall ensure that the Department's 'Guide to Surface Coal Mine Reclamation Plans' and as amended from time to time is adhered to as part of the site reclamation activities." - Environment Minister Mark Parent's Terms and Conditions of Industrial Approval, 12 September 2006
October 17th - Last week Sherie Lee
Lane was widened, truck crossing and road narrowing signs were put up and
the highway median covered with dirt so they can drive over it. All week,
all day long, at least 10 trucks hauled topsoil from the strip mined DNR
Crown land to NSPI's ash dump. After receiving complaints the Transportation
Department inspected the area and saw nothing, don't even know where Sherie
Lee Lane is! So today we showed them but after heavy rains turned the road
into slick mud Pioneer's not hauling today, instead they're pushing topsoil
into the excavated pit that filled with acid mine drainage.
- Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995: "The stockpiles shall contain any
available topsoil from the site, common material, and rock. Stockpile #2
shall contain materials excavated from the adjacent wetland. Stockpile #2
materials shall be kept separate within the stockpile to allow for proper
reinstatement of materials"
Schedule L - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995: "The Proponent shall ensure the progressive rehabilitation plan as described in the Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document"
From: Brad D
With respect to this instance, the material being hauled off site does not contradict the approval issued to Pioneer Coal Limited nor does it contradict standard policies that are applicable to everyone with land access in the province. The Term and Condition referencing transportation routes is specific to the trucks transporting coal off site that are directly affiliated with Pioneer Coal Limited. As noted in my previous email, the vehicle/equipment traffic exiting the site via Sherri Lee Lane is not property owned or operated by/for Pioneer Coal Limited.
October 15th - Flaunting the fact
that by the time the Environment Department ever gets its act together, the
coastal Crown land along Sherie Lee Lane will be completely raped and
pillaged as Pioneer Coal strips what's left of the top soil and construction
trucks that aren't supposed to be on public roads haul it to NSPI's ash dump
as tourists looking for directions to the beach get caught in the traffic
jam. As always, the Environment Dept. has passed the buck, this time to
Transportation at 563-2240
October 14th - Proving yet again
that Minister Parent's Terms and Conditions of Approval is a completely
meaningless document, instead of stockpiling the topsoil from the wetlands
Pioneer Coal is trucking it across Morrison Pond along Sherie Lee Lane to
the ash dump at NSPI's power plant, out of the Environmental Inspector's
sight and out of mind!!!
|Over 60 days have passed
since residents of Point Aconi first complained to the Environment
Department that Coal Hollow Brook has turned orange and provided photographs
and a map to the source of the discharge, followed by water test results and
a submission signed by a Commissioner of Oaths, and still the Environment
Department has not so much as said thanks for the information or that
they've checked it out or done anything at all about it!
October 12th - The barrier across Sherie Lee Lane at Tony's Beach has been bulldozed aside as Pioneer prepares to turn it into a truck route to NSPI's power plant! Got a wetland as obvious as Morrison Pond in the way? No problem, don't tell and the Environment Department won't notice even after the experts try and tell them!!! Got a median blocking access across the highway? No problem, just dump some dirt and drive over it! Have you destroyed hundreds of acres of healthy coastal Crown woodlands and wetlands and wildlife habitat under the false pretext of "cleaning up" old mine sites despite the community's concerns? No problem, Rodney's departments of Natural Resources and Environment will grease the wheels for your "reclamation" of the Prince Mine site the "environmentally right way"! Got acid mine drainage oozing out of everyhwhere the high sulphur coal meets air and water? No problem, the Environment Minister will squelch his inspectors' reports and pass the buck on everything!
|October 5th -Nothing appears
to be going according to NSDE's approved excavation plan.
Any kid who's dug a hole in the sand at the beach knows what happens when you dig deap enough close to sea water, but apparently Nova Scotia's Environment Department still don't get it. Or perhaps this is why Pioneer still hasn't excavated the rest of the shoreline they plan to highwall mine under 6 months after drilling the dynamite holes and blowing it all up!
|October 2nd - Better go visit
Tony's Beach before Rodney's Reclamationists cut off the remaining public
access along Sherrie Lee Lane so no one can see the trucks hauling the high
sulphur coal to the Point Aconi power plant across Morrison Pond that
according to the environmental assessment isn't even a wetland despite the
obvious. Project creap continues with impunity as more topsoil is removed
from outside the approved Mining Blocks, and the facility representative
goes about his merry way while the latest minutes of meetings posted at the
gas station of the anonymous Community Liaison Committee is dated 19 March
|September 21-29th - Six weeks
have passed since the public notified the Environment Dept. of obvious Acid
Mine Drainage being discharged into Coal Hollow Brook and still they will
not acknowledge whether they even went to look at it much less do anything
about it. Since blasting and excavating our coastal wetlands has affected
the area’s hydrology, Acid Mine Drainage can also be seen oozing out of the
ground at the nearby tilled area, in drainage ditches along Point Aconi
Road, into Brogan’s old mine site, and most likely from the settling ponds
that leak into Morrison Pond. Meanwhile, flaunting the fact that Minister
Parent continues to turn a blind eye to violations of his Approval, Pioneer
has been excavating top soil from across the road and trucking it into the
mine site to make it look cleaned up and re-vegetated in a hurry..
NSDE COVERING UP FOR PIONEER COAL!
Proving yet again that they're in the business of covering up for the mining companies instead of monitoring and enforcing the Environment Act, six weeks and two applications for investigation later and still NSDE hasn't so much as inspected Coal Hollow Brook much less admit the results! View CASM's Application for Investigation pursuant to Section 115 of the Environment Act that Minister Parent's Environment Department is already squelching as usual.
|September 11, 2008 - Watch
out! Blowing up our woodlands and wetlands to smithereens, and ignoring the
concerns of residents whose homes are being shaken by the blasts and covered
in dust and the smell of smoke, continues to be Rodney's idea of the
"environmentally right way" to "clean up" old crop pits across Nova Scotia!
And his Environment Dept. still won't say if they've taken any water samples
from the site, much less release the results to the public..
|“East of the five existing entrances to the underground mine (portals), surface water enters bootleg pits, drains into the Water Level Tunnel and gathers at the water pumping station and then directed into the Prince Mine underground workings. This water is highly acidic and cannot be discharged into the environment untreated. This water is presently stored in the workings; however, ultimately, the storage capacity will be reached and a sustainable solution will be required. Surface mining through this area and subsequent backfilling will eliminate the present requirement.” - Pioneer Coal's EARD|
|September 7-8th - There's a
bit of a stink going on as the field along the Prince Mine Road floods and
Pioneer Coal works to put in a new pipeline from the pump house to the old
portals. The stockpiling and building of a new processor for coal continues
despite the lack of any environmental assessment or approval, and the coal
trucks are back on the road kicking up dust as the site manager and facility
representative does his thing.
Previous Status Reports: 2006-2007, 2007-2008