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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - December 17, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 14 - THE lETHBRIDGE HERALD - Friday, Decembar 17, 1971 Strip mining operations attacked by most briefs Scientists and the public blasted coal strip mining in Alberta at a Environment Conservation Authority nublic hearing on the issue in Leth-bridge Wednesday. The hearing, one of four being conducted by the ECA for the department of the environment to gain an insight into public attitudes on strip mining, saw 13 briefs presented. All but t\TO were prepared written statements. Only two briefs defending coal strip mming operations in the province, were presented. Response to the four public heaaings on coal strip mining will be weighed by Environment Minister W. J. Yurko, who is planning to introduce new surface reclamation legislation at the spring session of the Legislature. In addition to the 13 briefs presented in Lethbridge, eight briefs - all opposing strip mining in the province - were m-ade at a Dec. 23 hearijig in Grande Prairie. Two more public hearings will take place, one in Edmonton today acd Calgary on Dec. 21. At those meetings mining companies are expected to present a deluge of well-prepared and documented defensive material said Dr. W. R. Trost, of Edmonton, chairman of the ECA. Kicking off the Lethbridge hearing was an ECA brief entitled "Environmental Impact of Surface Coal Mining opera-tions in Alberta." The bi-ief, prepared for the ECA by a Vancouver-based consulting firm and presented by Bob Webb, noted that there are three regions in whieh strip mining for coal occurs: the mountains, the foothills and the plains. Strip mining operations in each area are distinctive from one another, Mr. Webb said. The brief recommended seven areas of further study. It stated: A program of regular accumulation of statistics that describe the number, extent, and impact of operating mines and associated activities is required. Exploration activites should be monitored in the same way, and the information made public. On the issue of reclaiming strip-mined areas, Mr. Webb said: "Although the individual mining companies will be required to cairy out research and organizational trials, it will be necessary to co-ordinate reclamation research to avoid wasteful duplication of effort and to develop a fund of reclamation knowledge for Alberta." He said attention should be given to obtaining reasonable estimates of reclamation costs. The effects of strip mining on water quality were outlined. The ECA brief stated the physical and chemical parameters of natural streams should be monitored over time to ob-tam quantitative estimates of the effects of surface mining and to set water quality standards. The ecological effects of cooling water and eutrophica-tion (slow death) resulting from large fertilizer applications during reclamation Eil!!l!i!ifl!::iliiiillililliiil!ii'!f^^ Strip mining hearing stories all by Rudy Haugeneder Staff Writer should be studied to determine their application under Alberta conditions. Water quality effect on watersheds should be further looked at, Mr. Webb said. Studies of surfacial geology and topography should be undertaken to map these watersheds, which are extremely susceptible to damage by any industrial activity, he said. At the same time, research should be carried out to develop remedial and restorative measures and methods of mining which would allow these areas to be mined without danger. He said standai'ds should be set for tlie construction of exploration and haul roads. The natural wOdlife resource should be protected by describing and studying key winter ranges, migration routes and stop-over points. It was pointed out that research is necessary to develop methods of providing alterna-tivo facilities when wildlife habitat is endangered by a surface mining oppration. Hixip mining operations sliould be screened - investigated, in order to maintain or improve scenic values and reduce noise levels. Mr. Webb said economic studies - information on the assessment of side effects-should be gathered on a continuing basis. This would include a file on case studies, especiaEy those pertaining to Alberta, "he added. The file would provide up-to-date information which should be considered whenever decisions on siu^ace mining are being made. Strip-mines called outright rapp^ strip mining is "outright rape" of the Alberta counti-y-side, the Alberta Environment Conservation Authority was told in Lethbridge, Wednesday. Ed Davidson, a long-time resident of southern Alberta, made the accusation at a public hearing on coal strip mining in this pa-ovince. He said surface mining operations have "completely desecrated "large tracts of land in Alberta." Strip mining operations in Alberta have destroyed creeks and rivers which supply water for rvxal and urban watersheds. He blasted current provincial regiilations governing strip mining as being weak and said mining companies "pretty well do what they want." TWs occurs because the mming companies use different provincial departments to overrule each other or get protective measures bogged down in bureaucratic red tape. Many miles of roads constructed by provincial or joint federal - provincial financing have been made impassible because of coal mining operations. "It is inexcusable for governments to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop and improve roads when they can't be used by the public during the dry season," he said. Mining comparaes are causing "the complete prostitution of our resoui-ces," he said in his oral brief. "This prostitution is done by consent for a price." Mr. Davidson said society has to blame itself for what has happened and is going on, because it was not making demands and representations to the government. He cited dozens of creeks which are running dirty because of strip mining operations and are feeding "the dirty 01dman River." Strip mining operations, besides restricting continued economic and industrial progress, do nothing in the area of worthwhile reclamation of destroyed land "until public pTessure is brought to bear." He implored the provincial government to introduce highly-restrictive and protective strio mining legislation. The worst is not what has already taken place, he said, but what the mining companies are planning for the future. Companies are spending millions of dollars in their exploration throughout southern Alberta for additional economic coal supplies, he said. Ron Caldwell, Robin Sato and Richard Burke watch Police Const. Don Lee measure a drink. ^^^^^^^^^^^^ Robin uses commercial breath rneter. Sgt. Roy Marnock measures Richard's impairment. -Ed Finlay Photo* Commercial breath testers found accurate There are at least two | of the inexpensive breatli breath metres on tlie market which, w�hen tested in conjunction with the city police breath-alizer, prove to have a high degree of accuracy. A test participated in by l^vo reporters and one secretary from The Herald was conducted to determine how well some meters could gauge the amount of alcohol absorbed in tlie blood of a di'infcing person. The commercial metres are available in many drug stores. Robin Sato, Richard Burke and Ron Caldwell agreed to drink five ounces of rye in one hour, take a breathalizer test Tough environmental laws needed to protect from strip-mine ers Tougli new laws to protect the envu-omment from the dangers of strip minmg are needed in Alberta, said an environmental expert for Pollution Control - Southern Alberta, in Lethbridge. Dr. Paul Lewis, a University of Lethbridge professor, told an Alberta Envii-onment Conservation Authority-organized public hearing on coal strip ON DISPLAY NOW NEW FOR 1972 Be in the winner's circle on Yamahas lOOcc SINGLES AND TWINS Our lightest Enduro model is the new lOOcc LT2 but though it's a little smaller it still boasts all the response, power, and agility that every Yamaha Enduro Is famous for. Plus it comes with Torque Induction making the JT2 the best bika around for the novice off-road rider. The all new Yamaha LS2 features a strong lOOcc parallel twin cylinder engine which develops 10.5 horsepower. It too has all the standard Yamaha features like autolube, 5-port power, primary kick starting and a 5-5peed gearbox. SEE THEM ON DISPLAY NOW AT Yamaha Cycle Sales and Service 21st St. and 2nd Ave. S. Phone 328-6977 mining, that stronger mining legislation will have little-if any-detrimental affect on the provmcial economy. North American areas where stringent strip nuning and reclamation le^slation have been adopted have experienced a consistent increase in coal production, he said Wednesday. Dr. Lewis claimed current pi-otection legislation is not sti'ong enough to protect the envh-onment or the long-term economic future of the province. In places where strong legislation has been introduced: "Areas which might have become desolate moonscapes and ; sources of long-term environ-' mental and social costs have been restored to productive and valuable use," he said. "Poor and dangerous mining Merchants plan trip, car draws i TSvo final draws are sched-i uled for the Lethbridge down-10 w n merchants' Christmas promotion. Saturday at 3 p.m. a draw will be made for a trip for two ] for two weeks in Jamaica. T^e I draw will be made in the fom-er Halmes Appliances store next to the 7th St. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Dec. 24 at 10 p.m. in the same place, a draw will be made for a 1972 car. Nine smaller prizes will also be drawn for on each Saturday, ending the 10-week contest. The downtown mei-chants supply entry forms to their customers, and have had 180,-000 forms printed. practices have been reduced or vanished, and even tlie coal companies speak wth justifiable pride of their environmental attitudes," Dr. Lewis added. "Furthermore, with specified standards in legislation, all operators are on essentially an equal footing insofar as knowing whet is expected of them." However any new legislation imposed would have to be enforced. Experience both here and elsewhere has demonstrated time and again that voluntary controls, company public awareness, and good intentions do not work, he said. As to the prediction of a "rosy economic future for Alberta" if coal mining or ajiy other resource can be developed without "too many restrictioMS," Dr. Lewis said, "We should be remiss in failing to point out that in our opinion: -Tlie rosy economic future is that of the entrepreneui's; -The coal is not at present going anywhere or deteriorating in usable quaUty; -It will even increase in value as reserves elsewhere are depleted and energy demands increase; -The province, thus far, has been receiving too little, and spending too much, to develop its resources and aid its developers. Dr. Lewis said that development has been "entirely too haphazard up to the present, and that the people of Alberta do not wish not to stop such development, 'but only to place it under control so as not to jeopardize Hie environmental heritage which is theirs." Alberta must not sacrifice its renewable resources or scenic and "esthetically magnificent province for the sake of rapidly extracting and e.xporting our non-renewable resom'ces," he sa;id. "These are simple statements, and they reflect simple values, but their importance is ever-increasing and we must heed tliem." OTHER GUY 'Don't drink and diive" is a safety slogan which has been around for many years. Unfortunately, many drivers feel that this approach applies only to the other guy. The AMA reminds you that the festive sea-sen often leads to the impairment of individuals who otlier-wise would not find themselves in this position. QUALITY DENTURE CLINIC EDDY DIETRICH Certified Dental Mechanic H Capitol Furniture Bidg. Mi PHONE 328-7684 M RESTAURANT WATCHDOGS - Be glod the heolth inspectors are such super sleuths. Their work can save you from a cose of food poisoning. But restaurant-eaters should still know what to watch out for themselves. Ge'rard Vollie'res tells how eating out can be mode less dangerous, this Saturday IN YOUR lETHBRIDGE HERALD WEEKEND MAGAZINE at the poEce station and use a commercial breath meter. Drinks for the experiment were measured by Don Lee, Lethbridge police constable. At the end of the one-hour drinking period, the three experimenters walked from The Herald to the police station, where they waited for 20 minutes to allow the alcohol of all the drinks to be absorl)ed by their blood. Robin's breatlializer test read .10, or 10 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milUlitres of blood. She weighs 104 pounds and by having consumed five ounces of alcohol in one hour then waiting about half an hour she had become legally impaired. City police Sergeant Ray Maraoch operated the maciiine for the test. "The Canadian Criminal Code has set a reading of .08, or 8 milligrams of alcohol to 100 milligrams of blood, as the legal saturation point at which a person can be considered impaired," said Sgt. Maraoch. "If a person appears to have lost his judgment and ability, liowever, he may be charged with being impaired even if the reading is below .08," he said. Ricliard, who \veighs 170 pounds, was tested and his reading was .79, or almost im- paired. Before the test he said he did not feel as though he could drive his car safely. Ron was the last to be tested. He weighs 146 pounds and had to wait nearly an hour for bis test, or two hours after he first had a drink. His reading was .071, well beneath the legal limit. Each person tested and "Al-color Breathmeter." In each case the $2.79 device agi-eed with the $2,000 police machine. The device showed Robm's blood-alcohol content to be well over the .08 limits, Richaixi's blood alcohol content was exactly on the limit and Ron's was beneath the limit. Robin tested a "Sober-metre" breath analyzer which also varified the police breathalizer Eind the other meter. It registered that silie was well over the .08 limit set by law. Both the breathalizer and the breath meters function b y measuring the amount of alcohol in the fully exhausted breath of a person who has consumed alcohol. CONGRATULATIONS TO ANOTHER PROUD OWNER OF A PARADE HOME Show Home located in RAYMOND - 286 2nd St. West OPEN SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18 10 a.m. to 12 Noon - 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 1 Built by . . . PARADE HOMES 2705 9th Ave. N. Phone 328-8535 OVATION THOMAS HAGSTROM GIBSON TITANO VOX  BANJOS  RHYTHEM ACES  AUTOMATIC DRUMMERS  BONGOS  DRUM STOOLS  MOUTH ORGANS ;