On April 8th, Port Alberni City Council is going to be considering an initial review of the Raven Underground Coal Project’s recently submitted Environmental Assessment Application.
On March 25th, I sent a request to council that they “through the Alberni Valley Regional District, and in cooperation with the Port Alberni Port Authority and Island Corridor Foundation commission a cost benefit report for repair, upgrade, and use for heavy freight transport of the Alberni Subdivision of the Island Railway before submitting any response to the upcoming Raven Underground Coal Project Environmental Application.”
Unfortunately, this request was not endorsed, however, I’ve been informed that City Manager Ken Watson will be doing a review of the 12,000 page application that, “will be specific to issues of transportation of Coal and impacts on Port Alberni residents. ”
This should give a first indication of what the City of Port Alberni deems the most pressing issues that will be arising out of the Raven Project and whether they will be pushing for the railway to be used or not.
I submitted the same request for a full report of the Alberni Subdivision to the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District on March 27th but have not heard back yet. With Port Alberni City Councillors holding 2 seats on the ACRD including Chair I don’t expect a different response. The ACRD will also be reviewing the application and also has a Transportation Committee that might logically take the lead in addressing any road or rail implications of the application.