Despite a year of ramped up rail-safety efforts – and many warning signs – walking on the tracks is still common.

Despite a year of ramped up rail-safety efforts – and many warning signs – walking on the tracks is still common.

LETTERS: Transport of coal takes its toll

Peace Arch News letter writers address rail shipments and pollution on the waterfront.

Editor:

We hope from this letter you can capture the essence of this message as we join the many who are fighting the big corporations and government to protect our community from the imposition of health hazards and noise pollution that is beginning to plague our lives.

We have been residents in the White Rock/South Surrey neighbourhoods for over 30 years and are fortunate to live in a small home on the bluff overlooking the ocean and our beautiful waterfront.

During these past months, and moving towards years, the changes we are now experiencing move us further and further away from the peaceful and healthy environment we have enjoyed for so many years.

There are few places in the Lower Mainland that offer such outlooks and we support those who are taking issue with the transport of coal and hazardous materials through our neighbourhood destroying the very reason we came to live in this community.

We have heard many people speak of the coal dust from the trains but are now conscious of these comments as we are experiencing a similar and ever-increasing buildup of coal dust on our decks and furniture which causes us great concern for health reasons.

As a senior, I am troubled, disturbed and awakened by train whistles throughout the night, which causes us further concern for our restful health and peace of mind.

Even with the bylaws in place, the big corporations carry on with complete disregard to the residents or governing authorities regarding whistle times and conscious consideration for those who live and sleep within hearing range of these trains.

More trains, longer trains, hazardous waste, loud whistles, breach of laws and the absence of concern and consideration for the communities health and welfare seems to be the order of the day.

Hopefully those opposed shall find victory in their efforts and I applaud, support and thank them all.

Ronald J. Elliott, White Rock

• • •

Democracy is broken.

Surrey, White Rock, Delta, New Westminster, Langley, Coquitlam and Vancouver councils have all voted to delay the expansion of the Fraser Surrey Docks to accommodate the U.S. coal trains until a proper, independent health study is accomplished.

The GVRD voted overwhelmingly against the facility for similar reasons.

A cursory study, undertaken by controversial SNC Lavalin, is accepted by the CEO of FSD, despite the fact that Dr. Paul Van Buynder, chief medical officer for Fraser Health, demands further assessment.

When the citizens, who were asked to give feedback, send thousands of submissions asking to halt the project and are ignored, something is terribly wrong.

In the dog days of August, while many citizens were on vacation or enjoying our sublime weather, the project was given the go-ahead. And now, with few hurdles left, the thermal coal from Wyoming will pass through the Lower Mainland, spewing black dust on its way to China to further pollute the global environment.

Well done, Canada!

Harvey Ostroff, Surrey

Clear answers needed

Re: Air quality to be monitored, Sept. 18.

It’s great that the powers that be are monitoring the air quality in West Beach, due to the trains and coal, etc.

Having said that – is there any way we could get some monitoring out here in East Beach?

We live on Marine Drive, near Stayte Road, and nightly we are bombarded with strong, acrid smoke. I don’t know what it is or where it is coming from, but it’s a shame – with the wonderful cool sea air – that we are forced to shut our windows at night because the wafting smoke is suffocating us.

Where is it coming from? What is it? Anyone else experiencing this same nightly phenomenon?

Help! I can’t breathe!

Sandy Mechefske, White Rock

 

 

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