Tag Archives: EPA

Plans for new coal mine show the need for water pollution probe

Editor’s note:  In terms of emissions, coal is believed to be the dirtiest form of energy on our planet. In addition a recent study in Science found that about 460,000 of the deaths in the United States, between 1999 and 2020, can be attributed to the particulate matter in coal. This is separate from emissions, but global usage of coal is increasing. According to the International Energy Agency, global coal demand reached a record high in 2022. That was passed the following year: 

“Worldwide electricity generation from coal hit record highs in 2023, while thermal coal exports surpassed 1 billion metric tons for the first time as coal’s use in power systems continues to grow despite widespread efforts to cut back on fossil fuels.” – Reuters 

Coal was an economic driver on Vancouver Island during the late 1800s. There were mines in Nanaimo, Cumberland, Union Bay and Ladysmith. Premier Christy Clark promised to open 8 new coal mines by 2015, and failed. Coal is still a major industry in British Columbia, but the last coal mine on Vancouver Island has not been operational since 2017. That was the Quinsam mine, approximately 24 km southwest of Campbell River,

By Natasha Bulowski, Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A new coal mine proposed in B.C.’s Elk River Valley highlights the need for a long-overdue cross-border investigation into water quality and an end to coal mining in the region, some environmental groups argue.

Continue reading Plans for new coal mine show the need for water pollution probe

The accelerating pace of Species becoming ‘at Risk’

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released a survey that showed the total number of marine species at risk within the Salish Sea doubled between 2002 and 2015. While the Discovery Islands are within the study area, the EPA study did not list specific locations. So Cortes Currents asked Max Thaysen, President of the Friends of Cortes Island, about the species of risk in our area.

Continue reading The accelerating pace of Species becoming ‘at Risk’

Number of marine species at risk in Salish Sea more than doubled, report says

A recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states “the total number of marine species at risk in the Salish Sea has doubled from 2002 to 2015.” 

The accompanying map shows they are referring to an area that stretches from the Puget Sound to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and north beyond  Cortes and Quadra Islands. Christianne Wilhelmsen executive director of the Georgia Strait Alliance, explained this is because the EPA thinks of the Salish Sea as whole entity, rather than dividing it between two nations. While a few of the entries are American, most of the species listed are accompanied by terms like ‘COSEWIC‘, ‘B.C.’ and ‘Canada,’ which shows they come from Canadian sources.

Continue reading Number of marine species at risk in Salish Sea more than doubled, report says

Avoid Wood Smoke

By Roy L Hales

According to the Daily Mail, “Wood-burning stoves emit six times as much pollution as a diesel truck.” The Environmental Protection Agency states wood smoke contains several toxic air pollutants including: benzene; formaldehyde; acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Health Canada claims, “In communities where wood heating is common, wood smoke can be responsible for as much as 25% of the airborne particulate matter.” They advise people to avoid wood smoke.

Continue reading Avoid Wood Smoke