New Coal Mine Would be a Myriad of Threats – Letter in the Westmorland Gazette

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Oppose the coal mine plan – letter in the Westmorland Gazette

The new coal mine proposed under the Irish Sea is ‘not a threat’? (Letters July 5) True, it is not just one threat! Like a many headed hydra it promises a myriad of threats to wildlife, health, climate and the safe stewardship of Sellafield.

Despite this myriad of threats. Kent Brooks’ letter of support for the mine is evidence that the PR for this plan has been astonishingly successful.

So what is the threat to wildlife?  RSPB and others have pointed out that the development has the potential to have an adverse effect upon the St Bees Head Site of Special Scientific Interest. through disturbance to breeding birds during excavations and coal processing.

The impacts from this vast mine on Cumbria’s troubled water resources and hydrology are also of great concern to human welfare, as well as that of wildlife.

What about the climate impacts that Kent Brooks believes are non existent?  At a production rate of 2.8Mt/year the produced coal would generate 1.24Mt/year CO2.

Some of the CO2 would be produced in Cumbria and some at the locations of steelmaking where the coal is to be exported. Given that all countries are equally bound by the Paris Agreement and equally committed to reducing fossil fuel use – it is highly unlikely that steel manufacturers will be seeking to import Cumbrian coal.  There is rapid innovation in steel-making processes to eliminate the fossil fuel component.

Kent Brooks says he does not understand why nuclear safety campaigners are so concerned about this plan.

This is why we are concerned –

at just 8km away from Sellafield (even nearer to Moorside) according to West Cumbria Mining, this development is ridiculously near to more than 140 tons of plutonium.

Increased tremors and quakes resulting from mining are well documented. Also well documented is the fact that there are large holding tanks at Sellafield containing thousands of litres of extremely radiotoxic fission products.

As well as nuclear wastes on teh Sellafield site there are radioactive wastes on the Irish Sea bed from ongoing and historic discharges.

Don’t take my word for it. All these threats can be read about on the submissions to Cumbria County Council on their website under planning application reference 4/17/9007.

Please do write to CCC before mid August and make your voice heard in opposition to this new coal mine plan which threatens Cumbria in a myriad of ways.

Marianne Birkby

On behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

NOTE: The planning meeting has been deferred again until the Autumn – so more time to get your objections in!  You can write to the Senior Democratic Services Officer quoting planning application reference 4/17/9007 West Cumbria Mining

Email       Jackie.Currie@cumbria.gov.uk

 

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STOP PRESS – COAL MINE PLANNING DECISION DELAYED AGAIN! TILL AUTUMN

Sellafield from St Bees

St Bees looking across to Sellafield

We have just heard that the planning meeting for the first deep coal mine in the UK  that was due to be heard on August 23rd in Kendal has been delayed yet again.

We have lost count of the deferments – it must be some kind of record.  We have to ask why hasn’t this dangerous mad bad plan been knocked on the head already?  Is it to embed West Cumbria Mining into Cumbrian society with its largesse and promises of jobs?   It it to soften West Cumbria up for deep mining of an altogether different plan, concerning nuclear wastes?  That may be way off course but it is a thought that has crossed many a Cumbrian mind.

So the new date – as far as we know is the autumn.

We shall continue to fight this plan and welcome all hands to the deck until the plan for the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years is stopped once and for all.

 

 

Cracking Letter in the Westmorland Gazette …still no word from Mainstream Environmental Journos!

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Another Cracking Letter from Anita in the Westmorland Gazette.  In a long running exchange this is a reply to Kent Brook’s letter about the “need” for coking coal to provide steel for WMD etc.  Whether or not you want nuclear WMD …there are other ways to make steel. To mine the coking coal you also need to mine the ‘middlings’ coal, off St Bees under the Irish Sea.

Here is Anita’s letter as it appeared in print

“MR KENT Brooks, (Letters, May 10, ‘Defence must be priority’) is, of course, entitled to his opinion about the proposed coal mine near Sellafield.

However, my opinion, having had a coal face worker in the family for many years, remains the same. Excavating a very deep coal mine beneath the Irish Sea, so close to Europe’s largest nuclear waste facility at Sellafield, is a risk too far.

Europe’s largest nuclear waste facility at Sellafield is a risk too far

In any case, we should not be mining coal at all, if we are serious about trying to mitigate climate change and rising sea levels.”

 

There is a petition to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

GOOD NEWS!!

Minister cites climate change in rejection of opencast coal mine

Sajid Javid says environmental impact of Northumberland plan outweighs economic benefits

Druridge Bay in Northumberland
Law firm ClientEarth said the decision was the first time the UK government had rejected a planning application citing climate change as the reason. Photograph: Durham University/PA

The government has rejected plans for an opencast coal mine in Northumberland on the grounds that it would exacerbate climate change.

Eighteen months after Sajid Javid first took responsibility for a planning decision for a new coal mine at Highthorn, the communities secretary said he had concluded the project should not go ahead.

Environmental lawyers ClientEarth said the decision was the first time the UK government had rejected a planning application citing climate change as the reason.

FULL ARTICLE HERE  – it mentions the plan for Cumbria but usual Guardian slippage – gets it a bit wrong saying the plan would be  ‘ South of Kendal’  – good that it is mentioned at all in the same breath as climate change ( no mention of Sellafield’s close proximity) still, this is the first ever so slightly critical mention of the mad plan in the national press!

TAKE ACTION – NEW Leaflet to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

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Dear Friends,

Although this is a very big deal you would not think so from reading and listening to the mainstream media. There has been virtually no reporting in the local press and none at all in the national press on all the reasons why so many groups and organisations are opposed to the plan for the first deep coal mine in 30 years.

We are a small group with limited funds (our own pockets) and limited public outreach.  So the more that people and other groups get involved in spreading the message and shouting out about this plan and about just how mad, bad and dangerous it is, the more chance we have of stopping it in its tracks.

We have produced a new leaflet which needs distributing, we don’t have much time to spread the word before the planning meeting on March 7th 2018.    If you would like to get involved in sharing the leaflet with your family, friends and neighbours,  please contact us at coal@mariannebirkby.plus.com.

The text of the leaflet is below….

KEEP CUMBRIAN COAL IN THE HOLE (St Bees is way too near Sellafield!)

A Busy Persons Guide to Opposing the first deep Coal Mine in 30 years

TAKE ACTION

TAKE ACTION

  • If you have a minute – please share it to your friends

TAKE ACTION

  • If you have 15 minutes please write a brief letter to Cumbria County Council. Objections include Ground Water Damage, Earthquake Risk Near Sellafield Ponds of High Level Nuclear Wastes, CO2 and Methane emissions, Impacts on Marine wildlife, Subsidence of the Irish Sea Bed etc. Please Quote the planning application Reference 4/17/9007. Cumbria County Council will decide this application on 7th March, 10am in Kendal. The public consultation ends on Feb 19th. Letters can be sent to Mrs Rachel Brophy, Cumbria County Council Development Control Team County Offices, Busher Walk, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4RQ For the attention of Mrs R Brophy (Planning Officer) 01539 713 413 or email to developmentcontrol@cumbria.gov.uk The earlier the submissions are sent the better chance they have of being included in the committee report.

TAKE ACTION

  • To register to speak for up to 5 minutes at the 7th March Planning meeting it is necessary to register as soon as possible with a written note of the points you wish to make. To register please contact – Jackie Currie, Senior Democratic Services Officer, Legal & Democratic Services, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle, Cumbria CA1 1RD Tel: 01228 221030 Email currie@cumbria.gov.uk

TAKE ACTION

If you can come to a demo at the Council 9am on 7th March – be good to see you! More info at https://keepcumbriancoalinthehole.wordpress.com/

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New Petition to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Please Sign, Share and Talk about this, Letters to the press, please help to stop this plan in whatever way you can. Incredibly this mad, bad and dangerous plan has received far less media attention and discussion than the proposed Zip wires accross Thirlmere.  Why is that?  What is Going On?

The Petition can be signed here

The Full Petition Text is below….

Please do not let Cumbria be the first place in 30 years to open a deep coal mine in the UK. The proposed undersea coal mine under the beautiful coastline at St Bees would be five miles from Sellafield and five miles from the plan for new reactors (Moorside) at Beckermet. Coal mining is known to increase seismic activity.

Why is this important?

What People are Saying:

“We are particularly concerned in regard to the potential impact upon the wider marine and coastal environment of the discharge of water into the sea, which has been pumped from the flooded anhydrite mine.” National Trust

“ The application site is in proximity (Solway Firth 1.5km) to a European designated site (also commonly referred to as Natura 2000 sites), and therefore has the potential to affect its interest features.”Natural England

“any level of subsidence upon the terrestrial or marine heritage assets and designated sites and landscapes could be significant and permanent, therefore having a detrimental impact ..The history of contamination of watercourses in the areas raises concerns for some local residents in relation to the impact of the development on the complex hydrology of the area.” Colourful Coast Partnership

“Our position is to object to the proposed development on the grounds of the adverse impact on groundwater, surface water and biodiversity.”Environment Agency

“It is clear that this is a very large mine, with a very long life span…of 20-50 years and a peak of 2.8 million tonnes a year. Assuming a 40 year life (following construction), and an average of 2 million tonnes a year, that is a total production of 80 million tonnes, which will emit around 175 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The level of emissions and proposed life-time of the mine is of major concern….We would also query whether or not there has been robust enough analysis of the potential for seismicity (and subsidence) relating to well-known nuclear facilities in the wider area, including Sellafield and proposed new facility at Moorside? What potential is there for seismicity to effect these and other facilities (including the low level waste repository at Drigg) and the possible high level waste radioactive waste facility which has been proposed in West Cumbria for some time.” Friends of the Earth

“The application should be rejected because it is not in the national interest. From reviewing the documents submitted by West Cumbria Mining it is clear that the intention is to export the coal to Europe and Asia…The application to mine is too close to the Sellafield nuclear site and the proposal for another nuclear power station at Moorside. Underground mining can have a significant impact on the surrounding areas, recently a coking coal mine in Russia triggered an earthquake.” Coal Action Network

Just some of the “Star Species” found in this Heritage Coast and Marine Conservation Zone are listed by the RSPB as: Fulmar, Guillemot, Herring Gull, Kittiwake, Razorbill and so many more that would be impacted on by the plan for a new coal mine with possible subsidence of the Irish Sea bed impacting on food sources such as sandeels (and not to mention disturbing and resuspending decades of Sellafield discharges which have settled there).

We ask that Cumbria County Council listen to the substantial concerns of the Coal Authority, Natural England, the National Trust, Coal Action Network, the Environment Agency, Colourful Coast Partnership, Friends of the Earth and others and turn down West Cumbria Mining’s planning application.

How it will be delivered

The petition will be delivered to the planning meeting at Cumbria County Council offices in Kendal on 7th March 2018

 

Christmas Walk 7th Dec 2017

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Our mascot Bernie the Polar Bear invites you to a Christmas Walk on 7th Dec.

We will be meeting with Bernie the Polar Bear at 11am at the Beacon, Whitehaven to walk the beautiful clifftop walk to St Bees.

For those who don’t want to do the whole walk which is approximately 7 miles there is the option to join us for the first mile and take the opportunity to visit West Cumbria Mining’s open day at the Haig Colliery.  The more people who challenge their PR spin the better!

 

Trail: Walking

Grade: Hard  (muddy in parts and some parts near the cliff edge…Carefully, Slowly does it! OK for older children used to exposed walking)

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Time: approx 4 hours  (walkers doing the full route will not visit the open day to make sure we have plenty of time for the walk)

Dont forget to Bring a packed lunch.

We will have a bite to eat at the end of the walk at the lovely St Bees Harbour Cafe

We will be meeting at 11 am  at the Beacon – Looking forward to a pre Christmas walk, Beautiful Coastline and Good Company!