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.


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



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service to begin public consultation late June, early July

Community input, chief constable says, ‘will occur’

Surrey RCMP reunited three stolen puppies with their mom. (RCMP handout)
Puppies stolen from South Surrey home located, reunited with mom

Surrey RCMP said they found the stolen puppies on April 16

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard 
to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s plan for 84 Ave. at south end of Bear Creek Park

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/ screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read