Coal Dust, Wind and Human Health: What are the Risks of Open-Pit Coal Mining in Southwest Alberta?


April 8, 2021 :: Allan Garbutt. PhD, MD
Moderated by SACPA administrator

Everyone living in Southern Alberta are familiar with our winds. Those residing in “Chinook Country” have heard Environment Canada’s frequent wind warnings, particularly between November to April. It would follow then, that Benga Mining Ltd (Riversdale) would, as part of their application, have completed comprehensive and accurate assessments of wind speed, dust particle size etc., as part of their Environmental Impact Assessment for their Grassy Mountain Open-Pit coal mining proposal.

But have they? The speaker will argue Benga’s Environmental Impact Assessment contains flaws and inaccuracies in methodology and the time-frame of data collection. This resulted in underestimating the amount and movement of micro dust particles and the distance micro and larger dust particles would be carried by the winds, resulting in errors in the data of Environmental Impact Assessment submissions. Finally, the speaker will discuss the research on short and long-term health outcomes for people living in communities close to coal mines.

Speaker: Allan Garbutt. PhD, MD (Retired)

Allan was born and raised in Calgary, though he does admit to short sojourns to Edmonton and Fort Macleod. He received a B.Sc. in Honors Zoology at U of A, which was followed by both an M.Sc and Ph.D from the University of Guelph. Allan’s research area was the reproductive biology of Ruffed Grouse.

After receiving his doctorate, Allan worked in environmental consulting in Edmonton for several years. He transitioned to the University of Western Ontario in 1987, and received his MD in 1991, and took a rural family medicine residency at the University of British Columbia, with his final year spent in Fernie, BC.

After completing his family medicine residency, he began practice in Crowsnest Pass, and remained there until retirement in 2018. During that 25-year span, Allan was very active with the Section of Rural Medicine, and also participated on various committees for the Alberta Medical Association.

Date and time: Thursday April 8, 2021 at 10 am MST

YouTube Live link: https://youtu.be/ev3kpUTd448

In order to ask questions of our speaker in the chat feature of YouTube, you must have a YouTube account and be signed in. Please do so well ahead of the scheduled start time, so you’ll be ready. Go the YouTube Live link provided in this session flyer and on the top right of your browser click the “sign in” button. If you have Google or Gmail accounts, they can be used to sign in. If you don’t, click “Create Account” and follow along. Once you are signed in, you can return to the live stream and use the chat feature to ask your questions of the speaker. Remember you can only participate in the chat feature while we are livestreaming.
Link to SACPA’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/SouthernAlbertaCouncilonPublicAffairs


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