Clear the air

Web Lead

To the editor:

The following is an open letter to the Honorable Mary Polock, B.C.Minister of Environment,

Not if. When. We are writing this letter to serve as evidence so that when it DOES happen, liability can be determined.

Burning grain stubble in Idaho fields when conditions are such that a wildfire is likely to be impossible to contain should one ignite, is nonsensical. Throwing a cigarette out of a vehicle window in B.C. can result in a serious fine and if it ignites a fire, liability.

Yet lighting thousands of acres on fire rather than tilling it back into the ground, negatively impacting air quality and peoples’ health as well as incurring risk of wildfire, is considered unlikely in Idaho. Why? Because it is cheaper to burn. 3500 acres (over 1400 hectares) are burned annually over Spring and Fall months between Bonners Ferry, Idaho and Creston B.C. over a distance of 40 miles (64 kilometers).

Idaho grain growers get the profit, while often, we get the bad air quality and the risk of wildfire.   I have been involved in this issue for over 20 years and for two of those years, I have served on the Crop Residue Burn Advisory Committee for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality as a volunteer and attended meetings in Boise, Idaho. I will acknowledge that some improvement over time of burning practises has lessened smokey outcomes for Creston, but this year’s burning, when everything is so dry, is ludicrous.

In addition, the B.C. Ministry of Environment has left us here in Creston without a particle monitor for a second burn season. The excuse is that they need to fill the vacancy of a monitor technician who can service and maintain the equipment in Creston and in other Kootenay communities. We have had our conservation staffing cut back deplorably and now we have no active monitoring equipment as well. When the public goes online to the B.C. Air Quality website to acquire information for Creston, none exists.

We have a B.C. election coming up in Spring 2017 and the public needs to know what is happening, and what is not.

Pat Martin, CASM

Canyon

 

Just Posted

BWC applies for federal money on homelessness plan

Dara Sutton spoke to council on Oct. 16.

Fernie in last stages of cleanup from damages caused by ammonia leak

Community memorial service in the works for 3 victims of Fernie Memorial Arena ammonia leak

WATCH: Steps being made to extract ammonia, say experts

City workers and family members spoke to media today

Speaking Earth provides guests with totally unique Ktunaxa experience

Paul Rodgers There is a painting and quote of Elder Mary Paul… Continue reading

One injured in Cranbrook stabbing

Shortly before midnight, Cranbrook RCMP were called to a report of a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

Crawford Bay celebrates new playground

A grand opening for the renovated site is set for Sunday afternoon

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Most Read