Letter: Potential for disaster exists right here

An open letter to the Province of B.C., mayor and council of Williams Lake.

Editor:

An open letter to the Province of B.C., mayor and council of Williams Lake.

I sincerely hope that the recent fire events in Fort McMurray and Williams Lake brought home the very real potential for disaster in any decision which entails the mass storage of railway ties within the town of Williams Lake.

Williams Lake is classified as being in the highest fuel hazard ratings for the province of B.C. The risk of a mass forest fire in our region is real.

We cannot, this morning, minimize the potential disaster or concern to the town of adding toxic ties to the equation.

The recent fire which destroyed United Concrete in Williams Lake must add to the realization that railway ties added to the equation of a potential industrial fire is a real concern that cannot be reliably mitigated against.

This is even more true given the record of spontaneous combustion events at the power plant.

Before any decision is made to allow the licensed burning and storage of railway ties within the town of Williams Lake I would like to be told who will claim, in advance, the responsibility for the financial and social disruption which would occur to the citizens of Williams Lake in the event of toxic discharge of dioxins and other poisons should fire get out of hand at the power generating facility.

I would also like a detailed explanation describing the mechanism by which responsibility and compensation will be ensured.

I have awoken this morning to the announcement of blame being ascribed to the province for the failure of the Mount Polley dam in the Williams Lake area.

I am sure that the Province would wish, once again, to put itself in the position of approving a license to industry which has such a high level of risk, which would be borne by the members of one community.

Please assure me that this license will not go ahead until you have addressed these real concerns in a manner which is satisfactory to the citizens of the community upon whom the risk would be imposed.

Robin Dawes

Williams Lake

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