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Provincial sour gas regulations too lax

B.C. has regulations permitting sour gas wells and facilities as little as 100 metre (300 ft) from schools and community centres

Editor, The Times:

Sometimes I ask myself, am I being a Cassandra wailing in the wilderness? Then I remind myself of the dangers from that wooden horse, as the Trojans found out to their sorrow, were very real.

Thanks to Stephen Hume, writer for the Vancouver Sun, I've learned that B.C. has regulations permitting sour gas wells and facilities as little as 100 metre (300 ft) from schools and community centres.

Now, let's put this into local perspective. Would those parents I see as I drive through the school zone at Raft River elementary picking up or depositing their children be comfortable with a vent pipe that would release sour gas 300 feet from where their children spend their recess?

This goes, of course, for the teachers and others who supervise these children.

How would you feel with a potentially lethal exhaust pipe 100 m away?

I know this sounds prophet of doom. However, it has happened in the U.S., in Alberta, and in Northern B.C. in places like Dawson Creek.

Stephen Hume's column Exodus of Top Officials Halted Progressive Sour Gas Regulations gives a far better account of how senior bureaucrats left their positions with the provincial government to work for Encana than I ever would.

The shameful way in which the Campbell-Clark government let the people of B.C. down by diluting the setback rules — two km down to 100 metres, is all in Mr. Hume's Monday, Dec. 30 column in the Vancouver Sun. Just what malign forces were behind these decisions?

The people of Troy paid no attention to Cassandra wailing at the gates.

After all, as the people of Troy learned after watching their city being sacked and burned, once you can't drink the water or breath the air, it is far too late.

Dennis Peacock

 

Clearwater, B.C.