[Editor: An open letter to the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District Area B director Loni Parker.]
Ms. Loni Parker,
The North Columbia Environmental Society requests that no more gravel pit permits be granted within the air shed of the city of Revelstoke. At present there is an application at Front Counter BC by YCS Holdings for a gravel pit near Westside Road just outside of the Revelstoke city limits.
This would be the second gravel pit in two years within close proximity to the City of Revelstoke and important terrestrial and aquatic habitat. This gravel pit will produce large amounts of crystalline silica dust, which will be blown over Revelstoke. People will be exposed and their health compromised. The health and environmental dangers of gravel pits are well known; silica dust is a class 1 carcinogen. Furthermore, environmental standards for gravel pits are not stringent enough nor well enough enforced to protect our citizens or the natural environment.
The Ministry of Mines and Forests have inadequately monitored the Valley Black Top gravel pit on Westside Road. The level of contamination from this gravel pit to the City of Revelstoke is unknown. Aside from this existing gravel pit, there are six other gravel pits within our air shed. There is no need for yet another one.
The citizens of Revelstoke have repeatedly voiced their desire for clean air and drinking water. These wishes are represented in our Official Community Plan, Community Development Action Plan, CDAP, and in the upcoming Integrated Community Sustainability Plan and still in draft form- Unified Development Bylaw.
The NCES strongly urges the CSRD to also honour our desire for clean air and water by granting no more permits for gravel extraction anywhere within the air shed of Revelstoke.