Livability is another word for quality of life. In Sparwood, our quality of life results from a lot of factors. One of the biggest factors is mining; it is the biggest part of our economy, and is directly or indirectly the reason why most people choose to live in Sparwood. Mining also brings noise, dust, visual impacts, and other effects which need to be monitored and managed to ensure that our quality of life stays high.
The District of Sparwood (the "District") is undertaking a livability study for the community. Over the next six months (January to June, 2019), community members will have a chance to share insights on what they value most about Sparwood, how best to measure our quality of life, and ways the community can ensure residents have an outstanding quality of life well into the future. A comprehensive engagement process is a key component of the livability study. Our goal is to ensure that all area residents have a chance to participate, sharing their perspectives and priorities.
The Livability Study is a permit condition for Teck's Baldy Ridge Extension project ("BRE"), and will serve as part of Teck’s Socio-Community and Economic Effects Management Plan (SCEEMP). It will also be used by the District to inform community planning and development activities in coming years. The study gives us an excellent opportunity to take the pulse of the community, learn what area residents value most and plan for a safe, sustainable and positive future. Open the "Livability Study" tab below for more information.
Teck is currently in the operations/construction stage of the Environmental Assessment process for the Baldy Ridge Extension project to Elkview Operations (“BRE”). BRE will increase the disturbance area of this operation by 862 hectares and bring mining closer to Sparwood than ever before. It will contribute to sustaining mine activities and jobs in this region for an additional 25 years.
As part of the environmental approval for BRE, the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has included a condition related to the social and economic effects that this expansion could have on residents and businesses within the District of Sparwood. This condition, known as Condition 21, will be a big step toward understanding and managing the effects of open pit mining operations on quality of life in communities near these resource extraction activities.
The following resources are available on our Document Centre:
For more information on BRE, including inspection and compliance reports, please visit the EAO's dedicated website.
One of the stipulations of Condition 21 is for Teck to prepare a Socio-Community and Economic Effects Management Plan (SCEEMP). This Plan outlines how impacts of mine activities on economic effects, land use, visual aesthetics, and socio-community effects are monitored. It also provides an adaptive management process for addressing these potential effects. The SCEEMP is a living document that is formally updated every three years.
The SCEEMP also refers to other management plans for BRE and ensuring that those plans are working as intended to minimize impacts on the community. The following plans are relevant to the SCEEMP:
|Plan||Status||Date presented to SCEEAC||Link|
|Air Quality and Dust Control||Version 3 was completed in August 2018. Assess existing version continuously.||March 12, 2019||Presentation to SCEEAC on March 12, 2019|
|Blasting and Vibration||Drafting stage. Draft targeted for September, 2019.||April 15, 2019, Target: September 16||Presentation to SCEEAC on April 15, 2019|
|Noise Control||Drafting stage. Estimated submission to regulators: September 2019||August 12, 2019||Draft plan presented to SCEEAC on August 12, 2019.|
|Reclamation and Closure||Not yet required.||TBD - not required until future stage||Not yet discussed at SCEEAC|
|Visual Quality||Drafting stage. Estimated submission to regulators: September 2019||May 6, August 12|
The Socio-Community and Economic Effects Advisory Committee (the "SCEEAC") is a select committee of Council. Our online Document Centre contains all the documents for the Socio-Community Economic Effects Management Committee.
The SCEEAC will comply with Condition 21 of the Baldy Ridge Extension permit, and:
The Terms of Reference for the SCEEAC was approved by Council on December 3, 2018.
District Council appointed seven volunteer community members, as well as representatives of two from Council and three from Teck.
Don is the currently the General Manager at Teck’s Elkview Operations, a position he’s held since 2014. Previously he was the General Manager at Greenhills and Line Creek Operations, he has worked at all of Teck’s operations in the Elk Valley except for Coal Mountain. He is a long time resident of the Elk Valley, having arrived in Sparwood back in 1993. Don is a professional engineer and possesses an MBA.
Chris is currently the Environmental Superintendent at Teck’s Elkview Operations. Prior to employment at Teck, Chris spent 9 years with BC’s Ministry of Environment as a Section Head for the Kootenay Boundary Region out of Nelson. Chris moved to the valley in 2015, and has resided in both Sparwood and Fernie. Chris brings a wealth of environmental monitoring, risk assessment, permitting operations and management experience to the Advisory Committee. He sees the SCEEMP as one of many opportunities to further develop Sparwood as a diverse and vibrant community.
Nic is a long time resident of the Elk Valley, having lived in Fernie on and off for the last 49 years. Nic has been employed at Teck for 23 years and has held numerous roles including his current position as Manager, Social Responsibility for the last 11 years, providing him valuable experience to share with the other members of the Advisory Committee. Nic’s educational background includes FSS School, Lethbridge College Journalism Diploma, UVIC Degree in English & Writing and currently enrolled in Teck Executive MBA. He hopes the Advisory Committee can create a collaborative, participatory process that recognizes and incorporates the self-defined aspirations of the community of Sparwood & its citizens and that supports the continued sustainable operation of Elkview.
Ali is a Plant Scientist and Professional Agrologist. Originally from Vancouver she’s spent the last 8 years or so in Cranbrook, and has recently moved to Sparwood as of Christmas last year. She has worked all over BC doing mine reclamation, and has been working for the Ktunaxa Nation Council for the past 3.5 years. Currently she manages the Nation’s engagement into everything environmentally related with Teck’s 5 operations in the Elk Valley. Ali is keen to contribute to her community, and is excited to dive into opportunities to enhance what Sparwood already has to offer and build new areas as well. She looks forward to exploring shared interests and values with the members of the Committee, and is hopeful that we contribute to positive change in the community.
Don was born in Adelaide, South Australia and started early life on a ranch. Don's career has included operating and maintaining earthmoving machinery, supervising mechanical repairs on infrastructure projects, and even a stint with the Australian Army. He moved to Canada in 1972 where he took a job with a Caterpillar Dealership. Since then he has spent most of his time in Sparwood. Don has been active in the Sparwood community, serving 23 years as a paramedic. Don and his wife have three boys who were raised in Sparwood, and completed their higher education overseas. He is an avid traveler and always looks to bring back new ideas to improve our community. Don is excited to contribute to the important work the District and Teck have begun through his participation on this advisory committee.
Tracey was born and raised in Maidstone, Saskatchewan. She attended Minot State University and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Biology. After University, Tracey moved to Saskatoon and later Regina where she worked primarily as a retail manager. She met and married John Baker in Regina and in 2011, they moved to Sparwood when John was hired at Line Creek Operations and Tracey became Assistant Branch Manager for the new Sparwood branch of East Kootenay Community Credit Union. Tracey is quite active in the Community as a member of the Lions Club, Treasurer for the Sparwood Food Bank, Director of the Coal Miner Days Society, committee member for the Terry Fox run and volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society Daffodil Campaign. She looks forward to joining the Socio-Community and Economic Effects Advisory Committee to further understand how the District and Teck can thrive together while protecting our environment and the abundance we’ve come to appreciate through coal mining.
Wes Pinsent has worked in the Natural Resource Industry for close to 40 years. He has worked for Government, Private Industry and as a Consultant in various positions. He is a Registered Forest Technician with a very well rounded experience base. Applying practical solutions to environmental concerns has been a large portion of his work experience. Living in Sparwood since 1995, and previously in the Crowsnest Pass since 1988, he has seen the many changes that have occurred in this area first hand. The mining industry has been a big part of his life in Sparwood. He looks forward to applying his experience to help the Baldy Ridge Committee make meaningful decisions and recommendations.
I am married to Norma and we raised two children Adam and Layne here in Sparwood. We owned and operated the Express Mart Convenience store for 35 years and during that time I was an active member of numerous clubs and organizations. Chamber of Commerce, Golf and Curling club to name a few. I was proud to serve as Mayor from 1997 to 2005 and then again from 2015 to 2018. I am presently a Director of the Chamber of Commerce and the Sparwood Futures society.
One of the most important projects undertaken during my term as Mayor is the work on the Baldy Ridge Extension Project. I look forward to continuing those efforts as a member of the SCEEAC. I am presently retired and willing to provide the time commitment required to be an effective member of this committee.
Harold (Hungry) Baytaluke
Bio to come.
The Sparwood Livability Study is being undertaken by District as per the requirements of Condition 21 of the Environmental Assessment Certificate #M16-01. Teck is currently in the operations/construction stage of the Environmental Assessment process for the project. BRE will bring the operation closer to the community of Sparwood, and will increase the operation’s disturbance area by 862 hectares. The project will see mine activities and job creation within this region for an additional 25 years, producing up to 10 million metric tonnes of clean coal each year.
The Sparwood Livability Study will analyze and address quality of life indicators, will facilitate engagement with communities, and will study and define livability. The role of the natural environment in physical/mental health outcomes will also be addressed. Community input will help define livability and identify appropriate quality of life indicators, which must be credible and replicable over time. Once determined, these indicators will be applied and assessed in today's context. The study is also intended to highlight past trends and occurrences that have impacted quality of life across the community. Through best practice research, the analysis of existing livability studies in comparable communities and extensive consultation within the community, the process will result in a customized, innovative and responsive approach that meets the specific needs of the Sparwood community in general and the Baldy Ridge Extension Project in particular.
Questions or feedback for Teck's operations in the Elk Valley?
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 1.855.806.6854, or fill out a feedback form available at locations throughout the Elk Valley. Visit Teck's Elk Valley Dust Management page.
On September 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm, a Special Meeting of the Socio-Community & Economic Effects Advisory Committee (SCEEAC) will be held in Council Chambers (136 Spruce Avenue).