Gypsum offloaded to barges in beautiful Plumper Sound: How is this allowed?

Listen to highlights from South Pender resident Jeff Tarris’ conversation about this situation with Laura Lynch on CBC Radio Vancouver’s The Early Edition on August 29, 2019.

As if putting up with anchor chains clanging, noisy hatches slamming, bright lights all night long and diesel generator noise and fumes 24/7 wasn’t enough, residents of BC’s picturesque Plumper Sound have even more industrial havoc to deal with.

One of the 5 commercial anchorage sites crammed in between Mayne, Saturna and South Pender Islands, in the South East corner of the Salish Sea, is regularly used to off load piles of gypsum onto barges for shipment to terminals in BC and Washington State.

This type of heavy industrial activity is normally allowed only inside Ports which are zoned for heavy industrial use. Yet somehow Canada Steam Ship Lines’ vessels are allowed to do it here, in what most people would consider to be a pristine eco-tourism destination.

This noisy operation is conducted during the night hours and runs up to 12 hours regularly. To top it off the company pays nothing as there are no fees charged for using these anchorages. The practice started without any consultation with local residents in the early 1980’s. Despite constant letters of complaints and concerns about health and safety impacts in the area, it continues to this day.

From all evidence, Transport Canada fully supports this practice.

Let the federal government know what you think in a letter.

For More: Gulf Islands Driftwood: Parking Lot for a Port Industrial use of Gulf Islands waters alarms islanders