As most everyone knows, the Fraser Valley is currently facing the possibility of
an extreme air pollution problem because of the proposed development of the SE2 Power
facility just south of Abbotsford in Sumas, Washington.
However people are only starting to become aware that we are also facing an extreme
and growing noise pollution
problem in many of our municipalities and this problem is of our own making. The use of
propane cannons by blueberry growers is expanding at a rapid rate,
and other agricultural groups are also looking at using this insidious device, such as grape growers,
cherry producers, and heaven help us, corn producers.
Currently the Ministry of Agriculture is trying to get all municipalities to approve and abide by
their Farm Practices legislation and guidelines, and as a part of this package they would like
their propane cannon guidelines to be adopted. Please whatever
you do, discuss propane cannon guidelines with your residents and read the fine print. If you accept
these guidelines and adopt them as bylaws you will be inflicting this massive noise pollution problem
onto your residents for years to come. Don't do it!
The Ministry is also currently trying to convince all municipalities to take on the role of enforcement
of these same guidelines, and trying to tell people that this is a good thing. The message is that
municipalities should enforce these guidelines for their own good to stop abuses like overnight
cannon fire or cannons firing too frequently.
To draw a parallel to SE2, residents are not worried about
an excess discharge of air pollution late one night, we just don't want the damn power plant in the
first place, much like we don't want propane cannons. It is not the excessive use or occasional
overnight firing that is the problem. What must be stopped is the massive noise pollution that
is produced by the regular day to day use of these devices.
No municipality should adopt MAFF's propane cannon
guidelines without being giving the total ability to change the guidelines and eventually eliminate the
use of these noise polluting devices. If all municipalities get together
and make a stand against propane cannons, the noise pollution problem can be controlled and
eventually eliminated. Municipal councillors all across the valley, it is up to you!