Say no to SE2!
Date: Monday, August 26 2002
Topic: International News
Construction of the proposed Sumas Energy 2 generation plant has received approval from Washington state Gov a couple days ago. I think the idea of the American's building this plant is horrible! Especially since I live in Abbotsford!
Even though the Govener has approved the plant, there is still Hope of it being stopped so check out the GASP site to lend support.
I think if they go ahead and build the plant Canada should not allow the American's access to our water sources, or treatment plants, or put a nice tariff on it, along with any power we export down to them.
This along with many things over the years, such as the recent and still ongoing lumber dispute, has me very angry. The Americans seem to feel that they can just push us Canadians around.
and the sad fact is that they do to a certain extent. We need to do something about this! or it will only get worse! I think we could really piss them off and tie or economy in with Europe more and change our dollor into the euro, and watch it sky rocket up.
Generations Affected by Senseless Power (GASP)
Reasons to oppose this monster plant:
- Near 4000% increase in Co2 gases-cause of global warming
- Built on two sensitive fault lines
- Depletion of our natural gas resources
- Very high noise levels
- Hugh amounts of effluent processed at Canadian treatment plant prior to being disposed of in Fraser River
- Cleaner forms of energy available
- Unsightly & potentially hazardous high voltage power lines built on the fault lines
- Nearly three tons daily, or emissions in a very sensitive air shed
- Depreciation of property values
- Drawing large amounts of water from aquifer
POINTS THAT WE THE
EDUCATORS, MEDICAL PROFESSION
AND BUSINESS COMMUNITY
would like to leave with you:
CLEARING THE AIR ON SUMAS ENERGY 2 PLANT
- We are 120,000 people inside the city limits (the 5th largest city in BC). We would be the fourth largest city in Washington (behind only Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane). We are not a small border town with only a few people. Our neighboring municipalities, which would also be affected by emissions from SE2, include Langley (88,000), Mission (32,500), Chilliwack (64,400) and Hope (6,800) a total of over 311,700 people.
- Over the past several years the air quality has improved but still we are the second worst air shed in Canada and BC has demonstrated that it is doing its fair share. BC has implemented numerous programs to LOWER emissions in this unhealthy air shed. These programs like Air Care (vehicles must pass an air emission test before being allowed to license) impose significant burdens on businesses and homeowners in BC, but we are willing to do our part. Locally, we have several initiatives to reduce emissions such as the Community Energy Plan (to reduce energy use in all sectors) and the Air Quality Initiatives Group. Placing a major new emission source in this air shed on the edge of a major city is counter to everything both countries are trying to accomplish. Canadians are involved in major efforts to reduce air emissions from automobiles. This plant would single-handedly counteract all of those efforts for decades to come.We cannot consider this project by itself as there are many other applications already permitted.
- The Fraser Valley has united in its opposition to the SE2 Plant as it has united on no other issue in our history. Business people, medical people, educators, scientists and the population as a whole are speaking with one voice in opposition to this plant.
- The Fraser Valley air shed is like a funnel, broad at the coast, narrowing at Abbotsford into a steep sided Valley towards Hope. The sides of this funnel are the mountains. This topography impacts our air quality as pollution is trapped in the narrow end of the funnel. Prevailing winds move pollutants from the metropolis of Vancouver. Photochemical reactions on these air pollutants exacerbate the situation. This Valley has been noted as having some of the worst air quality episodes in Canada. Adding almost 3 tons of toxins (even without burning diesel), SE2 will emit daily to the center of this reaction will have serious health effects on the people living in the Fraser Valley.
- Business is strongly opposed to this plant because of impacts to tourism when the polluted smog obstructs the view and makes breathing difficult, reduced property values and difficulty of selling. The health of workers and their families must take precedence over monetary considerations.
- Reduction of agricultural crop production from air pollutants (this is a documented effect). Currently sixty percent (60%) of British Columbias agriculture is produced in this Valley. The farming community here has been working diligently and has made great strides to be more environmentally friendly. Adding this plant as a single point source would diffuse all of the hard work that has preceded it.
- 38.5% of Doctors in Abbotsford have answered a survey stating they will leave if SE2 goes in and another 55.8% are considering it. Their workload because of current air pollution is already difficult and the additional will be intolerable. On a personal level, the Doctors dont want to breathe in the air if it goes ahead.
- SE2 is not the answer to the energy crisis the EFSEC ruling points that out several times. SE2 will be a merchant plant that will sell at least 40% of their production to the highest bidder for five years and after that up to 100%, so prices will not go down with SE2, but rather will likely go up. SE2 also argued against having to build within the next 5 years in the EFSEC hearings, so obviously will not be the answer to the current energy crisis. There are already 6 power plants approved in Washington State that still have not been built. At least 3 of these plants are expected to be under construction by the end of the year, including the Chehalis plant approved by EFSEC earlier this month.
- Mr.Jones, (deceased) NESCO President stated clearly that there was no way that a facility such as that proposed for Sumas would ever be built in California.It seems inappropriate that British Columbians and residents of Washington State living in a fragile air shed should bear the impacts of a power plant whose power will be sold to the highest bidder.
- SE2 proponents refer to the Burrard Thermal power plant. This was built decades ago and BC Hydro has recently spent $200 million upgrading Burrard and has reduced emissions by 90%., operating only as a backup plant. BC Hydro recently signed two agreements with independent power producers to purchase power from a proposed 25 MW biomass facility and a 25 MW small hydro facility. These and other new green forms of energy production such as wind are currently being actively pursued.
- Washington has a large coal burning generating plant at Centralia. The issue is not dirtier plants built years ago; the issue is what should be done now. And the issue is not how clean burning this plant is, but whether this is the right location for any large fossil fuel burning plant. British Columbias newest power plants are being sited OUTSIDE of this confined air shed. BC Hydro has stated it will not build any new source of energy in this air shed. SE2 will not displace Burrard or any other existing power source.
- We have exhibited a spirit of co-operation with the US already on several occasions and have helped them out and worked with them on many issues, taking into account their opinions, even turning down an application for gravel mining here that had the potential to affect their aquifer, but we have to also draw the line somewhere and when something is going to hurt our own residents health, economy and quality of life, we must say no.
- The plant does not meet all Canadian air quality standards.Proposed mitigation does nothing to reduce the serious health impacts to citizens on both sides of the border.
- Flooding issue this area is prone to flooding. In November 1991, the proposed site was under several feet of water.The proposed mitigation is uncertain and inadaquate.
- Location of the proposed plant is on a recently discovered seismic fault.The proposed mitigation once again is uncertain and not been clearly identified.
- It has been said that we have been unwilling to negotiate pollution credits with NESCO. Under that program, NESCO would be allowed to pollute our air shed in return for NESCO financing efforts to reduce emissions elsewhere in the air shed. We cannot trade away our potential reductions for a huge new emission source. We must reduce where we can (without accepting a huge new source in the bargain) if we are to blunt the impact of increasing population and accomplish a real net reduction of air pollution.
- Under present legislation the power lines could not be built in Washington State as they dont allow anything over 115,000 volts due to health concerns. This is why SE2 want to put the 230,000-volt lines through a residential and business district in Canada.