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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - December 17, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 14 - THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD - Friday, December 17, 1971 Strip mining operations attacked by most briefs Scientists and the pub- , lie blasted coal strip mining in Alberta at a Environment Conservation Authority public hearing on the issue in Leth-bridge Wednesday. Strip mining hearing stories all by Rudy Haugeneder Staff Writer 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 two were prepared written statements. Only two briefs defending coal strip mining operations in the province, were presented. Response to the four public healings 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 made at a Dec. 13 hearing in Grande Prairie. Two more public hearings will take place, one in Edmonton today and 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 operations in Alberta." The brief, prepared for the ECA by a Vancouver-based consulting firm and presented by Bob Webb, noted that there are three regions in which 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 pub-He. On the issue of reclaiming strip-mined areas, Mr. Webb said: "Although the individual mining companies will be required to carry 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 obtain quantitative estimates of the effects of surface mining and to set water quality standards. The ecological effects of cooling water and eutrophioa-tion (slow death) resulting from large fertilizer applications during reclamation 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 standards should be set for the construction of exploration and haul roads. The natural wildlife 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 alternative facilities when wildlife habitat is endangered by a surface mining oppration. Strip mining operations should 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, especially those pertaining to Alberta, he added. The file would provide up-to-date information which should be considered whenever decisions on surface mining are being made. Strip-mines called * outright rape' Strip mining is "outright rape" of the Alberta countryside, 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 province. 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 rural and urban watersheds. He blasted current provincial regulations governing strip mining as being weak and said mining companies "pretty well do what they want." This occurs because the mining 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 companies are causing "the complete prostitution of our resources," 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 Oldman River." Strip mining operations, bet-sides restricting continued economic and industrial progress, do nothing in the area of worthwhile reclamation of destroyed land "until public pressure is brought to bear." He implored the provincial government to introduce highly-restrictive and protective strip 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 meter. Sgt. Ray Marnock measures Richard's impairment. -Ed Finlay Photo* Commercial breath testers found accurate There breath are at least two metres on the market which, when tested in conjunction with the city police breath-alizer, prove to have a high degree of accuracy. A test participated in by two reporters and one secretary from The Herald was conducted to determine how well some of the inexpensive breath meters could gauge the amount of alcohol absorbed in the blood of a drinking 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 dangers Tough new laws to protect the environment from the dangers of strip mining 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 Environment Conservation Authority-organized public hearing on coal strip ON DISPLAY NOW NEW FOR 1972 Be in the winner's circle on Yamcihas lOOcc SINGLES AND TWINS Our lightest Endure model is the new lOOcc LT2 but though it's a little smaller if 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 bike around for the novice off-road rider. The all new Yamaha IS2 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-speed 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-5 any-detrimental affect on the provincial economy. North American areas where stringent strip mining and reclamation legislation have been adopted have experienced a consistent increase in coal production, he said Wednesday. Dr. Lewis claimed current protection legislation is not strong enough to protect the environment 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 environmental and social costs have been restored to productive and valuable use," he said. "Poor and dangerous mining Merchants plan trip, car draws Two final draws are scheduled for the Lethbridge down-town merchants' Christmas promotion. Saturday at 3 p.m. a draw will be made for a trip for two for two weeks in Jamaica. The draw will be made in the former 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 merchants supply entry forms to their customers, and have had 180,-000 forms printed. practices have been reduced or vanished, and even the coal companies speak with 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 any other resource can be developed without "too many restrictions," Dr. Lewis said, "We should be remiss in failing to point out that in our opinion: -Tlie rosy economic future is that of the entrepreneurs; -The coal is not at present going anywhere or deteriorating in usable quality; -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 the environmental heritage which is theirs." Alberta must not sacrifice its renewable resources or scenic and "estheticaliy magnificent province for the sake of rapidly extracting and exporting our nan-renewable resources," he said. "These are simple statements, and they reflect simple values, but their importance is ever-increasing and we must heed them." at the police station and use a commercial breath meter. Drinks for the experiment were measured by D o n 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 absorbed by their blood. Robin's breathalizer test read .10, or 10 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres 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 Marnoch operated the machine 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. Marnoch. "If a person appears to have lost his judgment and ability, however, he may be charged with being impaired even if the reading is below .08," he said. Richard, who weighs 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 agreed with the $2,000 police machine. The device showed Robin's blood-alcohol content to be well over tlie .08 limits, Richard'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 and the other meter. It registered that she 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. Built by PARADE HOMES 2705 9th Ave. N. Phone 328-8535 OTHER GUY "Don't drink and drive" 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 season often leads to the impairment of individuals who otherwise would not find themselves in this position. [QUALITY DENTURE CLINIC EDDY DIETRICH Certified Dental Mechanic Capitol Furniture Bldf. � PHONE 328-7684 �i RESTAURANT WATCHDOGS - Be glad the health inspectors are such super sleuths. Their work can save you from a case of food poisoning. But restaurant-eaters should still know what to watch out for themselves. Ge'rord Vallie'res tells how eating out can be made less dangerous, this Saturday IN YOUR LETHBRIDGE HERALD WEEKEND MAGAZINE  OVATION  THOMAS  HAGSTROM  GIBSON  TITANO  VOX  BANJOS  RHYTHEM ACES  AUTOMATIC DRUMMERS  BONGOS  DRUM STOOLS  MOUTH ORGANS ;