BURNCO Rock Products Ltd. is proposing an aggregate extraction project at McNab Creek in Howe Sound (approx. 10 km east of Port Mellon). This gravel extraction project would have outputs ranging from 400,000 tonnes per year to as high as 4 million Tonnes per year for special project demands.

The Future of Howe Sound Society opposes this development.

The SCCA has responded to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's request for public input into the requirements of the environmental assessment. (Click on Read More for our response.)


The following issues are of concern by the SCCA. It is our expectation that the Terms of Reference for the Burnco Aggregate project would provide a comprehensive analysis and assessment of the following concerns.

  • Noise pollution and impacts on area residents and wildlife
  • Comprehensive visual impact analysis
  • Dust and operation byproduct effects on surrounding riparian ecosytems.
  • Light pollution risks with emphasis on species at risk and use of the affected area. Emphasis to focus on migratory species and species using valley as flight corridors.
  • A comprehensive assessment of the area wildlife resources with emphasis on species-at-risk, red and blue listed species that may utilize not only the area slated for mining but also the adjacent lands and waterways impacted by the project. Comprehensive studies must include detailed mitigation plans that include anticipated costs and responsibilities that extend beyond the life of this project.
  • Assessment of potential carrying capacity as it relates to wildlife and fisheries resources of this watershed, and the significance of those values within Howe Sound and Georgia Strait. Identify the level of risk presented to these potential values by this project.
  • Comprehensive review and identification of current and past fisheries values including federal and provincial policies relating to management of stocks.
  • Cumulative effects assessment
  • Valued Ecosystem Component analysis and risk assessment for the planned mine area.
  • Measures to ensure no degradation or loss of area intertidal estuarine habitats. This must include complete protection of small streams entering Howe Sound along the estuary.
  • Comprehensive assessment of sub tidal habitats at load out facility. How will proponent prevent adverse impacts and if necessary compensate for resulting damage?
  • Comprehensive hydrologic and groundwater assessment and  risk of mine excavation dewatering the McNab mainstem.
  • This assessment must include any other proposed or projected industrial activities within the water shed. The proposed IP projects located on three upstream tributaries represent an accumulation of risks that must be considered as the proceeding of either project could impact the level of risk presented by the other.
  • Detailed reclamation plans for mine including ongoing responsibilities and timelines.
  • Requirement for on-going pre and post monitoring of fish and wildlife populations and habitats that would potentially be affected by mine development.

Sunshine Coast Conservation Association
February, 2012

Photos by Jason Herz