Letters to the Editor 

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Asphalt production is about health not zoning

The letter to the editor of Aug.18, 2011, from Mr. (Frank) Silveri, owner of Alpine Paving (AP) and Whistler Aggregates (WA) is all about zoning.

The purpose of zoning is to segregate land uses that are incompatible. Such is the case with his heavy industrial operations and the Cheakamus residential community.

The primary responsibility of the RMOW is to protect the health and welfare of the community at large, and the Cheakamus community in particular.

The fact that Mr. Silveri is operating an asphalt plant in clear contravention of zoning, and in defiance of a municipal Cease and Desist order, speaks for itself. So much for (being) the good neighbour and (an) upstanding corporate citizen.

More important is his position that he "has not heard of any ill-health effects from the production of asphalt." Wrong.

Contrary to the statement that the plant produces "occasional odours," it in fact produces high-temperature PAH's (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), toxins and hazardous gases, which are carcinogenic and co-carcinogenic, as well as other harmful pollutants. The community will not pretend the activities are not endangering and affecting their health, and the health of their children, so that a person can make (more) money from an illegal operation.

The residents also suffer the civil nuisances and loss of enjoyment of life caused every time the plant is in operation. They include the constant high-volume plant and crusher noises, ceaseless high-volume vibrations and back-up warning horns from loader operations, a tarry foul stench, as well as smoke and particulates.

Hard done by financially? Open the private company books covering the period of the past five years, one of the nastiest financial half-decades ever. One would expect that with sole-source Whistler contracts and the Olympics windfall, WA and AP profited richly during that same period.

Now the intended uses of the asphalt plant are inconsistent with the best interests of all residents, owners and visitors to Whistler. WA and AP's Olympic and pre-Olympic paving bonanza included the knowledge that hundreds of people would be living in the new community that Mr. Silveri paved.

The old and new asphalt plants are mobile. Move them. That is what the good corporate citizen would do.

Eventually the mobile plant must move to a location any way, one that is not incompatible with human habitation located in the immediate vicinity. So do it now and get the rewards.

It makes for a good bargain. Mr. Silveri would get to work with the municipality, would earn the respect of residents for obeying the law AND the intent of the law, and for doing the right thing. Cheakamus residents would get a legacy Whistler environment, not an industrial and toxic environment, in which to live and work.

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