The Northern View, May 30, 2013
By Martina Perry
While Ridley Terminals undertakes a multi-million dollar expansion to double its coal-handling capacity, new evidence shows current operations may be damaging the marine environment of Hecate Strait.
Documents and photographs obtained by The Northern View appear to validate allegations of purposeful coal dumping into the waters off Ridley Island and knowingly allowing coal-laden water to cover the shoreline. In fact, documents indicate nearly every environmental protection measure RTI says is being taken is not.
Perhaps the most worrisome of the allegations includes eyewitness accounts and documents indicating coal is deliberately being dropped into the harbour outside of RTI.
Photographs show RTI’s belting system, the conveyers that move coal from the stockyard to the docks where it can be loaded onto vessels, allows coal to fall onto the ground throughout the yard. Pictures show the belts are not enclosed anywhere onsite, and it is said this includes the belting system running over the ocean.
“There’s a certain amount of coal that sticks to the belts, and as it makes its run underneath the belt back it falls off… There’s coal just falling everywhere… Everywhere there’s a corner it just builds and falls off and jams belts, and then it falls into the ocean,” a reliable source, who has authorized access to the site, told The Northern View.