Weather and Climate Questions Submitted to the EAO During the AIR/EIS Public Comment Period

6.1 Weather and Climate 

The shape of the terrain on the mine site and to the north will strongly influence the path of the surface winds. Prevailing winds from the west, southwest and south will have a tendency to flow northwards through lower elevation locations such as where Lac Le Jeune Road and Highway 5A enter the urban areas of Kamloops. In the specific cases when inversions are present, the dust and gases generated at the site will be trapped and not mix into higher parts of the boundary layer. These contaminants will be pushed preferentially through the natural openings in the terrain. 

As is discussed elsewhere (Section 3.12) there will be a massive influx of water to the proposed mine site and this will likely lead to an increase in fog (Section 8.3) at and around the site. This flux of water vapour from the site combined with the dust generated from the site will also likely contribute to increased haze and cloudiness downwind of the site. With winds from the west, south and around to the east the low cloud would directly impact residential and commercial areas of Kamloops. With winds from the west, to north and around to the east, the impacts would be experienced in rural parts of the region. Both haze, resulting from dry and wetted aerosol particles, and low cloud will reduce the solar insolation to Kamloops. This reduction in solar radiation will occur over a range of wavelengths and be most likely in areas close to the site such as upper Aberdeen. 

1. Will KGHM establish meteorological stations to measure and record, on at least 5 minute intervals, primary parameters including wind speed and direction at sites near Lac Le Jeune Road and Highway 5A? 

2. Will KGHM establish a monitoring site with remote sensing capability to determine the frequency and duration of atmospheric inversions at the site? 

3. Why has the proponent not taken any steps to establish met stations elsewhere on the mine site? They have had years to do so. Will KGHM Ajax be required to establish such met stations, and obtain meaningful monitoring data from them before the application is allowed to proceed? 

4. Why is the proponent relying on meteorological information from areas well away from the mine site which have no relevance to the closeness of the proposed mine to the city? 

5. Will the establishment of a met station on the top of Coal Hill or Sugarloaf Hill be required, and data obtained from that station be analyzed before the application process is allowed to proceed? 

6. What climate station data will be used for the air quality modelling? 

7. What is the estimated reduction in insolation, due to increased haze and low cloud, downwind from the proposed mine site at distances of 1 km, 2 km, 4 km and 8 km? 

8. What will the effects of this reduction in insolation be on living conditions in Kamloops, e.g. normal melting of snow and ice on roads; growth of trees and plants; operation of solar panels; and the general enjoyment of the climate in the city by the residents? 

9. Where is the Golder Meteorology Station located, cited in page 20-4 of the Ajax Feasibility Study?