All EA components equally valued

Telkwa coal responds to environmental concerns in previous letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

Re: “Does Telkwa Coal value the Bulkley Valley’s water?” letter to the editor, Interior News, Feb. 18, 2021.

Water is a vital resource and a critical part of the fabric that binds and supports our communities in the Bulkley Valley. At Telkwa Coal, we believe that healthy water quality and quantity are fundamental.

We also believe that every component selected for assessment in our environmental certification application is valuable and important – from water to wildlife and everything in between.

In response to feedback from the Office of the Wet’suwet’en (OW) and the public during the review of the Application Information Requirements (AIR), we looked at the use of the terms Valued Components (VC) and Intermediate Components (IC).

To clarify our commitment to the importance of each, and every component, we have put aside the technical differentiation and are using Valued Components only. Early in January, we communicated these intentions to both the OW as well as to the BC EAO.

While we initially followed the Province of BC guidance on selecting VCs and ICs based on the technical definitions as either a receptor (VC), or pathway to a receptor (IC), we heard separating components into these two categories falsely implied and was incorrectly interpreted as a differing level of importance.

This is not the case.

Every component whether identified as “Valued” or “Intermediate” is valuable and key to developing a robust assessment.

As part of the scientific review, each component will still be considered as either a pathway or receptor and will include consideration for how they connect to each other. For example, Water Quality is clearly linked to Fish and Fish Habitat and Human Health.

Further, whether a receptor or pathway, all components will be fully considered by Telkwa Coal and the regulators who review our application.

We hope this streamlined approach will provide a greater confidence in the effect assessment process and outcomes and look forward to sharing more about our project in the weeks and months ahead.

Angela Waterman

Director for Environment & Government Relations

Telkwa Coal