Danger from more than just pipelines

A letter to the editor on environmental concerns in the Northwest.

Editor :

It’s interesting to note all the hype about the Enbridge Gateway pipeline project and yet we have the equivalent of a spill from the old copper mines on Babine Lake that have been spilling toxic waste for many years, and continue to do so.

The Environment section ministry has been monitoring the copper mines’ constant discharge and it will become necessary to construct two water treatment plants as the containment ponds will soon breach although they have been breaching since their original construction.

The footprint of this proposed pipe is small compared to what has and is spilling into Babine Lake plus the entire logging footprint of all the logging in the entire Babine Lake and River watershed is a giant environmental issue compared to a pipe not even built yet.

Currently there is a new strip mine proposed for the Babine Lake watershed in the Morrison Arm area. Does anybody get excited about that?

Lastly, if you think all the land use plans are being implemented or monitored as they were intended to be, then give your head a dusting from being in the sand.

Passion for wilderness, what is that and who advocates for it?  What is your definition of wilderness anyway and does it matter in the big picture of mining, pine beetles and any other access issue that is our economic legacy against wilderness.

I know how the game works in working with government and industry to produce a win-win solution, but who really wins anyway?  How much real wilderness do we need in our region to call it a win-win and not what it really is?

I like the passion of folks in the north…but it’s time to prioritize, call a spade a spade, and find a true balance because the only reason we still have some true wilderness is because we haven’t put a road in there yet.  Don’t somehow think we haven’t already produced the equivalent of many pipelines from what we have already done to our own backyard.

Lastly, what about that concrete pipe in downtown Smithers?  What will that drain, where will it drain to and what’s in the liquid that will be flowing through it?  Swamp to swamp…maybe, maybe not.

Pierce Clegg

Smithers