Air study should be independent of industry involvement

At issue are emissions from Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter in Kitimat, B.C.

An open letter to:

Premier Christy Clark

Dear Premier:

The Kitimat-Terrace Clean Air Coalition recently learned that there is a Kitimat health feasibility study in the beginning stages as was recommended by the Environmental Appeal Board in December 2015. Our air quality advocacy group was formed mainly due to the sulphur dioxide permit granted to Rio Tinto in April 2013. We have been following health issues in the Kitimat-Terrace area which we suspect could be attributed to pollution such as sulphur dioxide emitted by Rio Tinto.

The Kitimat Terrace Clean Air Coalition requests further clarification on the following:

1) We would like clarification of Rio Tinto’s involvement in the formation and development of Kitimat’s Health Feasibility Study.

2) We understand that Ministry of Environment staff delivered information on the health study and possible options for study at Rio Tinto’s public advisory meeting the first week of April. What is the relationship between the Ministry of Environment and Rio Tinto? And why is the Ministry of Environment managing a health care study, outside their area of expertise?

The Kitimat Terrace Clean Air Coalition does not consider the Rio Tinto KPAC to be an independent community advisory committee but under the directive of Rio Tinto.

Kitimat Terrace Clean Air Coalition is hopeful that a provincial health study be independent of industry. The public must be able to trust that health studies conducted be foremost for protecting our health. We are greatly concerned about the impacts of sulphur dioxide may be having on our health. We have limited information on the study and so will appreciate your response.

Lis Stannus,

Kitimat-Terrace Clean Air Coalition

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