Environment Media release

News release: Community coalition calls on NS’s Environment minister to take action on Donkin Mine noise and methane pollution

DONKIN, NS: At 2pm today, the Cow Bay Environmental Coalition and their local MLA Brian Comer will meet with NS Minister of Environment and Climate Change Keith Irving to address the low frequency noise and methane pollution from the ventilation fans at the Donkin Mine. The coalition is composed of dozens of families impacted since the coal mine ceased operations in 2020.

The UK-based Industrial Noise & Vibration Centre (INVC) analyzed an audio recording made seven km from the ventilation fans and determined Donkin Mine has been operating at above noise criteria limits as specified within their Industrial Approval.

INVC Technical Director, Peter Wilson stated, “At seven kilometres this is the worst case I have seen in over 30 years.  It is hardly surprising that there are complaints.”

Over fifty noise complaints dating back to October 2019 have been sent to Nova Scotia Environment and elected officials at all levels of government. 

Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, Catherine Fergusson stated, “This feels like progress. We are pleased that Minister Irving is taking these issues seriously and we hope both he and Nova Scotia Environment are as committed as we are to finding a solution to the low frequency noise pollution and the negative health impacts associated with this.”

The source of the adverse low frequency noise, the ventilation fans, run 24/7 expelling methane directly into the atmosphere. The GHG emissions associated with this idled mine, which was flagged as one of the highest GHG emitters in Canada, will continue to hinder the province’s ability to meet its targets and commitments with regards to climate change. 

In Minister Irving’s Mandate Letter, Premier Rankin said, “As Minister of Environment and Climate Change you are tasked with making choices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve Nova Scotia’s resiliency to climate change, and reduce our environmental footprint.”

Residents living near Donkin Mine will be reminding Minister Irving of those instructions. 

For more information:

U.K. company says noise from Donkin Mine at 7 km away worst they’ve seen in over 30 years  Saltwire Nova Scotia

Noise at Cape Breton mine has residents fuming Saltwire Nova Scotia

Cape Breton mine noise pollution needs to stop Saltwire Nova Scotia

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