What Matters In Our Valley (WMIOV) was founded in 2017 by a group of Telkwa and other Bulkley Valley residents who share a deep commitment to the conservation of our rivers, water, fish, wildlife, air and the quality of life in our exceptional area. Our current goals are:
What Matters In Our Valley cares about the social, environmental, and economic health of the Bulkley Valley. At this time we are reviewing the proposed Telkwa Coal Project.
UPDATE on Environmental Assessment Process
(March 21, 2019)
We are now in the Pre-Application Stage where a Working Group (WG) has been formed, consisting of Indigenous Groups, local government, provincial government members and federal government members. The Proponent (Telkwa Coal Ltd - TCL) and their consultants are not part of the Working Group. They take part in Working Group meetings and calls, in order to present information on the project and answer any questions/concerns raised by the Working Group. The WG will meet several times and also form sub groups for specific issues. Meeting notes are available on the Tenas Coal Documents page on EPIC (EAO’s Project Information and Collaboration website) https://projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/p/tenas-coal/docs). This link also has the Telkwa Coal Project description on it and will be the link for public comments once the dAIR (draft Application Information Requirements) is posted there this spring, presumably in May.
We will also post meeting notes in the “Files” section on our facebook page and on the WMIOV webpage for easier access.
The dAIR is prepared by the proponent (TLC) with input from the WG. Once submitted, it will first be reviewed by the EA. Then the EA will hold an Open House in Telkwa/Smithers (tba) and thereafter a formal 30 day public comment period will start. This is a crucial time where public input MUST be done online. The same person can ask multiple questions. They should be precise and refer to the dAIR.
Missing Valued Components (VC) can also be listed and asked to be included in the AIR. Form letters that are sent it with different signatures do not carry as much weight as proper, individual questions. Unfortunately comments can only be made online and the EA is working on solving this problem. We hope there will be a solution soon, maybe even before the first public comment period. The proponent (TLC) must reply to all public comments and take them into consideration in the AIR document.
Once the dAIR has been revised and finalized, the proponent will start their assessment application and include all issues and valued components (VC) listed in the AIR. Planned to be finalized by fall 2019. The EA will first review this, and again hold an Open House. It will also be available online at EPIC. There will be a 2nd public comment period (again only online at EPIC) for 30 days (should this fall during holidays, eg. Christmas, New Year, it can be extended to 45 days) and the EA has a 180-day review period during the same time. The proponent can request a suspension of the 180 day application review period to gather more information. The 180 day time limit does not restart. The EAO can also extend prescribed time limits.
Very important for the public to take advantage of these comment periods. Thereafter, the Ministers have a 45-day period to make their decision and there is another public comment period of 30 days.
Following a thorough EA, the ministers can decide to accept or deny the project OR can require the proponent to conduct further assessment.
A small organizing group meets monthly to keep up to date with the current happenings regarding the proposed Telkwa coal mine. We will plan informative evenings regarding concerns with key issues incl. water and air pollution, concerns with fish habitat, caribou and other wildlife, noise, haul road and loading site issues. We also have a group of active supporters who don't attend regular meetings but help and volunteer when events are planned. Whether you help through volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you.
There are so many ways to support our mission. Contact us to find out more about volunteer opportunities, fundraising events, and ways to get our message to your friends and family.