[This statement was sent to regional media in Yukon earlier this week by Insa Schultenkotter, a resident of Keno City, Yukon]
Now the government has released another report dealing with mining and adverse impacts on a community...
Is it another white-wash? I would say so. Gov. admits they don't have much knowledge about the effect of mining in or so close to a community. They state there is not enough information yet, more monitoring is required. At the same time they state there is no health risk. I'd call these two statements contradictory.
This Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is heavily based on previous "studies" done since Alexco started mining again in close proximity to a once quiet community. Almost all data collected for various studies (noise, soil, water) were provided by the mining company (Access Consulting = Alexco Res.) which has an agenda.
The public announcement of the Health Impact Assessment focuses on drinking water and dust, truly two mayor issues of concern. What was left out is the stress Keno residents have been exposed to dealing with the change of a once quiet community into an industrial site. Stress that not just comes from Alexco's activities but also from the unbalanced attitude YTG has shown in handling this situation.
Long time, permanent residents are facing a significant loss in property value, their investments, facing potential heavy metal contamination in ground/surface water (local gardeners are now advised not to use surface or groundwater anymore) affecting their properties, a very noisy environment, etc., it all has definitely led to a lot of stress and it's effects. It is real,-not "perception" as labelled in the HIA. Long time residents are leaving Keno City. And yet the report claims there are no significant effects. Most of the recommendations outlined in the summary were already part of YESAB's recommendations/mitigation. Do they work?? NO.
And by the way, how does a "hand-washing campaign" (another recommendation from the HIA) solve the real problem?