PEAT MINING IN MB

PEAT MINING IN MB

Postby Oscar » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:46 pm

Peat Mining in Manitoba

[ http://www.manitobawildlands.org/develop_peatmines.htm ]

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Peat mines OK'd despite expert objections

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.1277630 ]

By Mychaylo Prystupa , CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2012 6:39 AM CT| Last Updated: Feb 02, 2012 5:57 PM CT

Three peat mining companies were given initial authorization to level thousands of hectares of Manitoba's boreal forest, just days after a provincial ban on peat mining leases took effect last summer, and despite objections from the government's own experts.

The Save Lake Winnipeg Act became law on June 16, 2011, and prevents the province's Mining Department from issuing new leases for peat lands.

But three corporate entities — Sun Gro, Jiffy, and Berger — received environmental licences to mine peat moss in eastern Manitoba, on June 29, July 18 and July 20, respectively.

The licences for Sun Gro and Berger are currently being appealed. The province would not say who is appealing the licences, except to say a First Nation and a cottage owners' association are behind both appeals.

Those companies cannot mine peat while their licences are under appeal, according to the provincial government.

The companies either declined or did not respond to CBC's request for comment.

All three licences were grandfathered, meaning they were granted before the moratorium was imposed.

"Well, those peat mine licences were based on rights that existed, going back many years," explained Manitoba Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh.

"Should there be even a broader pause? That's a question that is at hand."

The government stopped 147 pending peat leases since the Save Lake Winnipeg Act came into effect in June.

The province says there are 201 pre-existing peat quarry leases that are not affected by the moratorium, but only four of them — including the two that are being appealed, the Jiffy project, and another proposal by Sun Gro — are currently active.

Against spirit of act, says environmentalist

The peat moss will be harvested for use in gardening products.

"This is completely against the spirit of the Save Lake Winnipeg Act," said Eric Reder, campaign director for the Wilderness Committee.

"We're destroying wildlife habitat, threatening the health of Lake Winnipeg, and we're dealing a terrible blow to our chances of climate change mitigation."

Environmental licensing documents show government officials inside Manitoba Water Stewardship and Manitoba Conservation also opposed the companies' peat mines, over climate change and water quality concerns.

"Decisions on new peat mining development in the province should be postponed until the peat land strategy is further along in the process," wrote Manitoba Conservation manager Glen Holmes.

Reder said the Manitoba government is more interested in protecting the interests of the mining industry, than the environment.

Back in late 2009, Premier Greg Selinger suggested peat lands would get more protection. He said so just as he was about to jet off to Copenhagen, Denmark for a UN summit on climate change.

"Manitoba will be a leader in the preservation of boreal peat lands with a new stewardship strategy," Selinger said in a press release at the time.

Greenhouse gas emissions a concern

At stake in the peat mining debate is 3,680 hectares of pristine boreal wilderness of their trees, in bogs north of Riverton, and another near Lake of the Woods.

If approved, the companies would be able to spend decades "vacuuming" the peat with specialized tractor equipment.

Sun Gro is also in the process of obtaining environmental approval for a proposed peat mine in the Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park. It is currently in the public consultation phase.

An online petition shows nearly 500 signatures of people against the project. A big concern is greenhouse gases.

"It's a stunning amount of carbon if we allow this to go forward," said Reder.

A CBC News analysis shows the Sun Gro, Jiffy, and Berger mines could produce as much as 3.9 megatonnes of carbon emissions over several decades — an amount equal to adding 12,000 cars to the road.

Figures disputed

The data comes from "life cycle" emission estimates of the projects, from the province's air quality and climate change departments.

The province and the industry disputed the figures on Wednesday, saying the emissions will be much less, if you factor out the end-use of the peat, which is often out-out-province.

The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association also downplayed concerns raised by Manitoba scientists, that the draining of bogs for peat mines will contribute to algae blooms that choke Lake Winnipeg.

"Peat industry operations do not contribute to the nutrient loading challenges that have created the concerns for Lake Winnipeg," said association president, Paul Short.

He added, Manitoba's 10 peat mines in operation provide 124 full time jobs, and 122 part-time jobs.

The Wilderness Committee held a rally with other groups on the legislature steps on Thursday to oppose the new mines.

Peat lands store more carbon than any terrestrial ecosystem on earth, according to the province.


Should the Manitoba government stop granting peat mine licences?
No
Yes
No, but there should be stricter conditions
[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.1277630 ]


Related Stories
■Peat mine would devastate boreal bog, says biologist
[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.1174843 ]

PETITION: (Completed)
[ http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/prot ... ng-out-of/ ]
*Please note - the deadline for public comments was 4:00, Feb 3, 2012. The petition has been submitted and any new signatures will not be entered into the public record! Thank you very much for your vocal support!" - Heather Hinam
In an effort to protect the boreal forest, reduce the impacts of flooding and slow climate change, the Province of Manitoba enacted a 2-year moratorium on new peat extraction licenses in the province as part of the Save Lake Winnipeg Act. Despite this laudable effort, mines, whose leases were granted several years ago are still slipping through the cracks.
A new mine by multinational Sun Gro Horticulture is poised to tear 531 hectares into the untouched Hay Point Bog on Grindstone Point in Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park. Peat mining is not sustainable. The forests are cleared to access the bog and the sphagnum (peat) is then stripped from the forest floor. It takes decades, even centuries for peat to accumulate and the change in the water table from mining makes it near impossible for it to grow back.
These bogs, however are very important ecosystems, home to a variety of rare orchids and other endemic plants. They can store on average 3.5 times more carbon per hectare than the forests that surround them. They also hold vast volumes of water, slowing run-off, reducing flooding and filtering out pollutants from the already stressed Lake Winnipeg Watershed.
The chance to add your voice is now; but we have to do it quickly. Please sign the petition with your full name and show your support.
"We ask the Government of Manitoba to put weight behind their commitment to mitigate the causes of climate change, flooding and protect the Lake Winnipeg Watershed by enforcing the spirit, if not the letter of the moratorium on peat extraction, declining approval for SunGro's application to mine Hay Bog in Grindstone Point (file 5548.00) and keep peat extraction out of our Provincial Parks."
This petition will be delivered to Darrell Ouimet, of the Environmental Licensing Branch, who is in charge of this file to support efforts by the Grindstone Cottage Owners Association, Lake Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba Field Office of the Wilderness Committee and other concerned citizens.
*Please note - the deadline for public comments was 4:00, Feb 3, 2012. The petition has been submitted and any new signatures will not be entered into the public record! Thank you very much for your vocal support!" - Heather Hinam

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From: John Fefchak
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 10:31 AM
To: WESTERN PROD
Cc: SHARLENE TETRAULT WESTERN PRODUCER LIBRARIAN
Subject: Hypocrisy at it's Best- Peat Mining Ignored

Letter to the Editor.

According to CBC News- Manitoba, 24 Nov. the province of Manitoba is to overhaul wetland strategy with a new bill.

The government plans to introduce legislation to protect the province's wetlands.

In June 2014, the province released a "surface water management strategy," and now it's introducing the legislation to go with it.

However, and according to The Manitoba Wilderness Committee. Quote "Peat Mining in Manitoba is an incredibly destructive and unnecessary industry.
Despite all this, peat mining is actually increasing in Manitoba. Five new peat mine licenses have been applied for in the last two years, and three of them have already been approved.

The science has spoken. This outdated and wasteful industry must be stopped. With our national reputation on climate change in tatters, responsible action on peat in Manitoba is needed. Proposals for new mines must be denied, and a formal ban on peat mines must be legislated" Unquote.

In my opinion, the government's stewardship plan of appropriately taking care of our water sources reeks of 'hypocrisy'….something they seem to be very professional at.

John Fefchak,
Virden, Manitoba.
204 748 2521
25 Nov. 2015
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6999
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Re: PEAT MINING IN MB

Postby Oscar » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:44 pm

Formal ban on peat mines needed

[ http://enterprisenews.ca/formal-ban-on- ... es-needed/ ]

The Interlake Enterprise, Dec 23, 2015 page 5

Dear Editor

The Manitoba government plans to introduce legislation to protect the province's wetlands.

In June 2014, the province released a "surface water management strategy," and now it's introducing the legislation to go with it. ( re: CBC News, Manitoba, 24 Nov.)

Despite all this, and according to the Manitoba Wilderness Committee: "Peat mining is actually increasing in Manitoba. Five new peat mine licenses have been applied for in the last two years, and three of them have already been approved."

The science has spoken. This out-dated and wasteful industry must be stopped. With our national reputation on climate change in tatters, responsible action on peat in Manitoba is needed.

Proposals for new mines must be denied, and a formal ban on peat mines must be legislated.

Respectfully,

Peter Marykuca
Interlake Resident
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6999
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm


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