Is there coal dust blowing our way?

Writer wonders how safe the proposed Ashcroft inland port is going to be.

Dear Editor

There is in last week’s Journal – aside from probing and insightful pieces by John Kidder, Jim Ryan, Esther Darlington MacDonald and others – an intriguing report by the South Delta Leader (Delta Port plans concern Council, Jan. 17, The Journal).

I mull over this report for a bit, then pass the paper over to my wife and ask her to read the same report, but to tell me, before she reads it, what her image of the Inland Port is. She tells me that the Inland Port will simply be a place, just outside of the Ashcroft townsite, where railway containers will be temporarily stored, or something as simple and harmless as that. As it turns out, that is pretty much what I – and I suspect most people in Ashcroft – think of the proposed Inland Port.

After she has read the article I ask her if her view of the Inland Port has changed in any way. It becomes clear that she is no longer sure about what the Inland Port really will be if it ever becomes reality. And neither am I.

To say I am alarmed by what I am reading is not altogether correct. Curious, though, I am. And for a very simple reason.

Near the end of the article Susan Jones suggests that Ashcroft would be a more suitable place for the terminal than Delta. That may be so (although recent history has taught us to be wary of anyone from the Lower Mainland’s telling us this sort of thing).

What really does raise the level of curiosity (if not concern) is the mention of coal dust at the end of the article. Delta is concerned that coal dust may be an inherent problem with such a facility. What coal dust? What is it about such a facility that will generate coal dust? The article is not clear on that.

We, though, who may well end up by getting this facility, do have the right to be equally concerned and to have clarity on this issue, do we not?

Ermes Culos

Area I