Panamax ship Welcome.


Open House and Question & Answer session
at the Bay Motor Hotel on November 20, 2000.
Open House Session for Port and Quarry
Bella Coola Aggregate Project
Summary of November 20, 2000 Public Meeting
Held by No-Cents Holdings and Arthon Construction
The Bay Hotel, Hagensborg, B.C.
Chaired by: Norm Ringstad, BC Environmental Assessment Office
Start time: 7:30 pm
Proponent/study team environmental assessment representatives in attendance:
BC Environmental Assessment Office:
    Mr. Norm Ringstad, Project Assessment Director - Mines
    Mr. Martyn Glassman, Aboriginal Issues
    Garth Thoroughgood, Aboriginal Relations Advisor
Institute of Environmental Research: Dr. Peter Homenuck
Gartner Lee Limited: Mr. Dave Osmond and Ms. Lisa Hewitt
Don Blood & Associates: Mr. Don Blood, Mr. Joe Materi
No Cents Holdings: Mr. Tom Roux, Mr. Dick Robinson
Arthon Construction: Mr. Kerry Leong, Mr. Steve Dimond
Approximately 85 in attendance at the public meeting.
Approximately 30 people attended the open house held between 1:30 and 6:30 that day.
Some people attended both the open house and the public meeting.

Norm Ringstad (NR) opens meeting. Reviews his Ministry's position and information displayed on the walls. Notes that the meeting will be primarily for questions and answers. Meeting to run until 9:30. Norm is representing the provincial government. His responsibility is to help the proponent understand the EA process, how to prepare, and what steps are. This project is not currently under the EA process. Consultation to date is all part of the pre-Application phase the process and consultation phase prior to making formal submission.
Formal submission likely in the fall of 2001. Work will be pre-application work until that point. Proponent is encouraged to keep public up to date, solicit feedback to understand issues, and address issues in the application. This process has triggered a Federal EA as well.
Will start by having proponent giving a general overview of the project. Then have consultants give a project scope and study review. The information is contained upon the www site. This is being recorded and will allow feedback to the public.
Norm calls upon Tom Roux (TR) of No Cents Holdings and Kerry Leong or Arthon Construction to review the project. Tom introduces himself and Kerry.
TR provides an overview of the project. There will be a lease tenure surrounding the Nusatsum MOTH sand and gravel pit. Fee simple tenures are found at port site. DL3 to be exchanged with DL 444 to the south of the port. Extraction applications are for 1 millon tonnes per year at Nusatsum, and 2 million tonnes per year at port site. Materials at port site will be handled by conveyor at port site and sand and gravel will be trucked from Nusatsum to the port site.
NR introduces Dave Osmond (DO). Gartner Lee Ltd. is coordinating the EA. A number of experts have been brought onto team. Gave an overview of the displays on the wall sho the EA components and the consultants study team. Reviewed the handout, which was prepared to make the public aware and familiar with the project. DO introduces proponents and www page at Detailed outline of the project is on the www site. Main elements of the project are shown on the map in the handout with details of the specific components. Scope of the project to be considered in concert with WWW page.
Factors to be incorporated into the EA review include public input, stakeholders, and native stewards input. Process schedule is on the wall and included with the handout. Final sheet is a comments sheet for public comments. Method of contacts on the sheet please add comments and return at the end of the evening or by mail. Passes floor back to NR.
NR indicates the material should be read in conjunction with information on the walls and the information contained on the www site. This helps the EA office dialogue back to the proponent. contains much of the information. also has information on the EA process with e-mail addresses of officials at the EA office.
NR indicateds that the purpose of the question and answer meeting is to gain an understanding of public concerns. Opens the floor for questions. Notes that questions will be recorded. Objective is to solicit ideas, opinions, and concerns to allow proponent to respond. May not be in a position to respond with all answers at this time.
Q : You are applying for 1 million t/yr at the Nusatsum pit but only half a million t/yr is shown on the drawings. What do you plan to move in tonnage?
  • TR we need to apply for an amount that is potentially used in future, although we anticipate starting at half a million t/yr at Nusatsum.
  • Q : Reinhard Maag Can there be a berm placed on the edge of the highway to reduce the amount of noise from the Nusatsum pit operations? I live and run a B&B approx. 800 m from that site.
  • KL we will be creating a berm along the road, in the initial phases and the advancement of the excavation operation will follow around the corner to the east and north which will reduce noise and visual impacts. Equipment is mobile and will follow the excavated area. All that is along the edge of the highway will remain in place. Intentions will be to have the berms higher than the equipment. TR there will also be no crushers in the pit on an on-going basis, so noise associated with crushing will not be an issue.
  • Q : My wife and I run a B&B and I am concerned about noise impacts on B&B operations and recreational opportunities. Is this a 24 hour or 12 hour operation.
  • KL - there are a couple of things to consider. Best operation in equipment would be 24 hours per day but that is not realistic. That is something that we need your input on what would be a reasonable hours of operation?
  • Q : Valerie Boultson Was asked to respond to a letter regarding traffic. I see there are 72 return trips per day and my primary concern is related to the increase in traffic during the mornings and afternoons around the school hours.
  • TR we will work around the school busing schedule. We have not addressed this issue yet but a traffic safety study will be conducted.
  • Q : Ross Nicholson I would be interested in knowing about the size of ships that will move material.
  • KL 750 ' long panamax vessels would be used panamax fit through the Panama canal.
  • Q : Ross will there be a pilot for these vessels?
  • TR Under the Navigable Waters Protection Act / Coast Guard, a pilot is required to pilot the ship to port.
  • Q : I have heard about bow thrusters and fish fry impacts. Will this be used to move the ship once docked at berth?
  • TR the ship will have to be moved due to conveyor operation but the moving will be done using winches along the port.
  • Q : Will there be large tugs dock the ships?
  • TR - We anticipate using tugs to dock to ships.
  • Q : Wayne Padgett How much of the usage of the loading facility will the company be using? You first said 6% in earlier discussions, then today it was said that 20% utilization rate would result.
  • TR - the previous calculation was based on exports of 1 million t/yr, it is now base on 3 million t/yr.
  • Q : Will there be wood chips brought into the valley? What about the mine operations in the Chilcotin will they be bringing in trucks into the valley to expand the use capacity of the port facility? Why build a facility you are only utilizing 20% of?
  • TR - Other operations in the region are not part of this proposed project. The loading capacity is necessary to ensure the high costs of holding the ships are as low as possible. The loading rate would be therefore be a minimum of 2,000 t/hr so that the ships can get in, take on product, and get out quickly.
  • Q : Where is the target market?
  • KL primary market is central California to San Diego.
  • Q : Is there the potential for upgrading the road and would there be any new sidewalks or bicycle pathes? There is a lot of foot traffic between Four Mile and Bella Coola. Roads are a concern.
  • TR we will not exceed the legal load limit. One of the options is that a bond could be placed by the proponent to cover any future degredation of the road. NR will be reporting to MOTH and have asked that they work with the proponent to look at upgrading requirements and consider that with the work program.
  • Q : If there is only 20% utilization of the port why would you not consider other projects?
  • TR - all other potential operations are beyond our control and are outside the scope of this specific project. KL - the utilization is low to meet the high costs of berthing large vessels.
  • Q : Wayne Padgett you would consider use of the port for cruise ships?
  • TR we would welcome having cruise ships use the facilities as it would be beneficial, but have made no inquiries to that end with operators. KL - The port would be available for other users, who would likely come forward from tourism.
  • Q : Colin Stevens What is the schedule for the project?
  • NR the proponent will complete the necessary studies through to next fall to complete the application document. Once submitted, the EA process has regulated time requirements that will take 3.5 to 5 months in total. One of those steps is the timeline for the public to comment on the report. We, as government, are not in control of the timing until submission.
  • Q : Patricia McKim Is there an opportunity to speed up the process. Can the time lines be shortened?
  • NR There can be a way if everybody works together and all issues are addressed in the review. There has been an identified need for seasonal baseline studies including a fisheries study at the port, which will take a longer timeframe than others. The seasonal nature of the required studies will set timing to a degree. We do not expect the baseline study and reporting stage to be less than a year.
  • Q : What do you do with the letters of support? We are well aware of one negative letter can do to the timing of the process. How can one get the same impact for those in support who wish to work for a living.
  • NR - Balancing of the process is based on information required under the Act. Ministers take public comment into consideration to balance positive and negative comments.
  • Q : In respect to improvements which are necessary for the highway; why would the proponent be required to complete a full study and assessment if that information is already there? MOTH must know of the weak spots in the highway.
  • KL have not received much support from MOTH on the roads issue to date. NR I am attempting to work between the proponent and MOTH to start discussions so that if studies are required they can be addressed ASAP. Ministry of Highways have not been returning my calls. I understand this is a priority and will reach MOTH at an early opportunity.
  • Q : Who has the authority to issue permits and licenses?
  • NR - A Mines Act permit would be issued by Ministry of Mines, other ministries will issue permits and approvals, including the Ministry of Environment Lamds and Parks , BCAL will issue lease tenures and there are Federal Agencies which review. The first level of decision making is by the minister.
  • Q : What is the timeline for issuing permits?
  • NR I have advised the proponent that they should be moving to satisfying permitting requirements in conjunction with the EA process. If all info for permits is reviewed with EA, this will shorten time to issue permits. KL yes we don't see permits as a difficult process. May wait for EA approvals prior to submitting final port designs.
  • Q : Peter - What do KL and TR see as benefits to this community?
  • TR the community will benefit economically from high paying jobs (job security) and an increase in the tax base.
  • Q : Will you hire locally ?
  • TR - Yes - we fully intend to hire locally. There may be a need to bring in skilled help, although we will initiate a training program. There is an economic impact statement on our www site. It will be added to in future. Spin off factor will increase jobs. NR - A socio-economic study is currently being conducted.
  • Q : What are the capital costs?
  • KL preliminary estimate is $16 million. Plus $7-8 million for processing gear. The installation may be highly specialized but some employment will be generated in the installation phase. There will be substantial requirement for concrete, welders, etc.
  • Q : Before the company spent lots of money on the EA process, how did you feel about prospects? If approvals do not come, is that lost money?
  • TR yes. We understand that. By the end of the process we will have spent something in the order of $2 million. We believe in our project and feel that the project is right and funding will arrive. We are very positive about this and are basically risking everything. But are confident. We are now looking for corporate partners. TR - calls on Dave Osmond to relate the schedule. DO had a meeting with DFO. Feedback that the process was longer term than expected. GLL has not replied with terms of reference. Details will be posted on www site. More demanding aspects will be fisheries related studies. Socio-economic aspects to be updated. Traffic considerations to be reviewed and reported. Most intensive will be fisheries and wildlife.
  • Q : Did you say that DFO studies will be on www site?
  • DO terms of reference for the studies will be on the www site once approved by federal and provincial agencies. We will welcome feedback.
  • Q : Of the 60 jobs projected, how many are permanent?
  • KL at current tonnages projection, approx. 45 full time, permanent jobs would be created. Of the 45, none are construction. How long will you do that ? KL Estimate in excess of 100 MM tonnes or 50 years.
  • Q : Patricia McKim if you find the highways require extensive work, do you think MOTH would ask the proponent to invest in road upgrades?
  • NR I have seen examples where there has been cost sharing, where MOTH pays, and where proponent pays. This should be addressed soon. It is up to MOTH to give policy advice. This has been all over the map.
  • Q : What is the potential for the market? Is there a business cycle?
  • KL - Aggregate marget is similar to lumber but the use is more stable. It does not depend on new construction only. Infrastructure requirements continually rise. Growth projections in California are 12 MM in next 20 years. Those areas are easily accessible by water, but not as easy by truck from traditional inland pits. We see this as a very stable market.
  • Q : Who is the main competition?
  • KL At this point, this shipping/export concept is quite new. On the east coast and in the Great Lakes it has been used in the past. There hve not been any similar project yet on the west coast. Only one BC Marine pit has immediate capabilities for deep water access by large ships. The marine pits in Georgia Straight don't have the draft for panamax loading - aggregate is carried by barge to the lower mainland.
  • NR: One of the things I advised the proponent to do is to follow up with the public. The www site is the best place for the public to access project information.
    Q : I have a comment about the www site. Can the reports be left at the Regional Districts office?
  • TR yes the Regional District office has copies of most reports.
  • Q : Can you do something will the large file sizes? we have slow speeds !
  • SD I also have a slow speed of max 26 k. We will burn 10 CDs with the www site contents to leave with the library.
  • Q : Where is your main office located?
  • TR - The partners are in 100 Mile House, Kelowna, Mission and Enderby.
  • Q : How much dust will be generated along the road? There are B&Bs located along the highway and fish in the ditches.
  • KL there will be truck washes at the pit and all trucks will move through this wash area. The material itself is to be washed so the amount of dust will be minimized prior to trucking.
  • NR one final question : I have been involved in these mining reviews for 26 years. Continual dialogue is important. How does the proponent wish to keep this dialogue open until next the next public meeting planned for spring 2001?
  • TR we see newsletters and information going out to the public. DO we see a newsletter about every 3 months. We will also pass along information if there is something important to say.
  • Q : Do you have an office in the valley. When are you going to open an office in the valley?
  • TR - It has come to the point where we will soon need an office in the valley and full-time company representation.
  • Q : If there are negative results from the studies, will the project be shut down?
  • NR - We (the BC EAO) will look for solutions rather than not support the project. The proponent team will submit studies as completed.
  • Norm introduces the First Nations reviewunder the BC Environmental Assessment Act. MG - Not only are First Nations part of the EA process, but they are on the project committee. We work hard with proponent to determine how the project impacts upon the First Nations community.
  • Q : Which First Nations government does the BC EAO address?
  • MG - We generally address the elected council. Consultation provisions include all aboriginal people.
  • Q: The hereditary chiefs have never relinquished the right to govern their people.
  • MG - I respect that.
  • Q : Janet Windborne - Regarding the public involvement and the socio-economic report. The existing report includes a lot of information and statistics will there be any interviews with local community members?
  • SD - I completed the initial study but it will be expanded upon by Mr. Peter Homenuck. PH we have completed a few interviews. There will be a good deal of consultation with the public and with Native community, both elected and hereditary. We look forward to talking to the community in groups and individually to get a good sense of the positive and negative comments.
  • Norm Ringstad thanked everyone for coming out and asking questions. Indicated that feedback will be provided and communication will be ongoing.
    Meeting closed at 9:10

    Open House at Bay Motor Hotel