Sunday, 23 August 2009

Native Americans to Join London Protest Over Tar Sands

Terry Macalister - guardian.co.uk, Sunday 23 August 2009

Canadian First Nations seek to highlight UK's 'criminal' role in CO2-heavy oil schemes.

Activist protests against the Alberta tar sands at a recent rally in Regina, SK. Photo by l.p.

LP Relents on Plant Inspection by Outside Experts - But Will There be One?"

- by Larry Powell

Louisiana Pacific Canada Ltd. has apparently had a change of heart. Initially, the company refused to allow an inspection of its wood products plant in the Swan Valley of western Manitoba by outside experts. But after a request from the Clean Environment Commission, (CEC) it has agreed. But only with strict conditions attached.

  • LP must be given 5 business days advance notice.
  • All those taking part must identify themselves with valid IDs in advance.
  • The tour must be limited to six people.
  • No photographs or recordings will be allowed.
  • Participants must undergo a safety orientation.
  • They must sign a waiver in order to get into the plant's production areas.
  • The company will not answer any technical questions because "all pertinent technical information is already on the public record."
LP agreed after the Clean Environment Commission supported the request for the outside inspection from two citizens' groups; Concerned Citizens of the Valley and the Boreal Forest Network.

The company also agreed the CEC could provide what it calls "a third-party" observer on the tour.

The CEC has stated in an email that it finds the company's approach "reasonable."

Despite all of this, Dan Soprovich of "Concerned Citizens" says it's all academic, anyway.

One of their experts came all the way from the southern 'States a week ago, only to be turned back at the plant entrance. He says the company photographed him, but wouldn't let him in!

He adds he simply doesn't know whether that individual will be available again any time soon. So it's still not clear whether there will actually be a tour, or not.

LP's attempts to decommission its pollution controls have sparked a controversy over air quality in the Swan Valley. It culminated in public meetings before the CEC in late July.

The Commission has yet to rule on LP's application to make the shutdowns permanent.
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Please also read - US-Based Logging Corporation Refuses Outside Inspection.