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Letter to the editor: Pineview residents have spoken

The reasons to deny the West Coast Olefins application are many and obvious.
RDFFG in winter
The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George board offices.

I live in Pineview and am writing this letter to air my thoughts on West Coast Olefins Ltd.’s proposal to put a natural gas extraction plant on agricultural land in Pineview. On Nov 18, the board of the Regional District of Fraser Fort George (RDFFG) did not choose to deny the use of farmland for this purpose in spite of the residents adamant and clear opposition. Our voice is not being heard.

In spite of all the input from the public in Pineview and area D of the RDFFG, four councillors from the City of Prince George and three from elsewhere in the Regional District think more public input is needed. I believe the real agenda is to somehow move the decision on this horrible industry to "Yes" while trying to maintain the illusion that the desires of the local residents are not being ignored.

The reasons to deny the application are many and obvious:

Farmland - we must preserve and protect our limited agricultural land base. It is finite at less than five per cent of B.C.'s land base and has been in constant decline due to losses from urban development and other non-farm uses such as industrial plants. If we wish to have more food security, we have to keep our farmland. The site we are talking about has been farmed for decades and its value for food production is proven.

Health - the negative effects on human health from the petrochemical Industry is well documented and I did not anticipate living out my retirement next to a natural gas plant.

Global warming - in the last five years we have experienced record fire seasons, record rainfall, floods and crop failures. This proposed installation will increase inputs to greenhouse gases. This goes against the commitments from all levels of our governments to limit the warming of our planet. Our infrastructure is beginning to crumble under the onslaught.

Safety and security - the potential for a life-threatening incident from this proposed NGL extraction plant is not zero. Within the blast radius are many homes, two schools, one preschool, farms full of animals and a major high volume, high pressure natural gas pipeline. To have this type of risk in the middle of our neighborhood is unacceptable.

The official Pineview community plan does not allow this.

Brian Marlow

Prince George