Cline's Kameron Mine

Let Us Sleep

Bearing Witness

Over 937 days starting in 2019

May - With only ONE methane exhaust tunnel available, Cline Group's Kameron Coal experiences an underground methane fire.

  • The existing ventilation fans were designed by world-renowned ventilation expert to be able to exhaust a volume of methane gas from TWO exhaust tunnels for the mine's full 30 year lifespan.

August - The coal company installs larger methane ventilation fans.

  • At this time no one is aware that the company had not installed the supplied on-site fan silencers.

October - A resident registers a formal noise complaint to Nova Scotia Environment.

  • A week later, the coal company informs Nova Scotia Environment that the issue is the ventilation fans.

December - Two months transpires and the coal company states that they need to complete a noise review process.

  • The same delay strategy is used throughout the years 2020 and 2021.

2020

January - Nova Scotia Environment receives two additional noise complaints from area residents.

Jan. 31 - Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) investigates and acknowledge elevated noise levels emanating from the Donkin mine.

  • Field staff from NSE make an audio recording of elevated mine noise, eight kilometres beyond the coal mine boundary.

Jan. 31 - Nova Scotia Environment informs residents that the company did not install the supplied on-site fan silencers.

A condition of Cline Group's Kameron Coal industral Approval is that Cline Group senior management obtain approval from the Minister of Nova Environment before implementing any major infrastructure modifications.

  • Why did the Minister grant the approval of the installation of larger fans without installing the fan silencers?

  • Or, like the concealment of six massive rock falls, mine management concealed that the on-site supplied fan silencers were not installed, breaking a provincial policy.

January 31 - Four months have transpired and mine management is now looking into installing the supplied fan silencers.

February 4 - Media: Weekend rockfall the 11th at Donkin Mine since 2017

February 14 - Media: Donkin Mine suffers another rockfall, this one during a shift

March 5 - Fan silencers are still not installed and the coal company states that they again have to engaged with a consultant to resolve the noise issue (see above December 2019).

March 30 - The Donkin Mine abruptly shuts down operations.

April - Kameron Coal installs shipping containers in front of methane exhausting ventilation fans.

  • The shipping containers are NOT successful in mitigating the noise.

May - The coal company hires a noise monitoring consultant.

  • Mine noise is coincidently not audible on the date noise monitoring takes place.

June - Nova Scotia Environment states they have no regulatory authority to take action.

  • Five months earlier field staff acknowledged elevated noise levels emanating from the Donkin mine eight kilometres beyond the coal mine boundary.

June 9 - Media Coverage: Municipality Forwarding Donkin Mine Concerns To MLA’s, MP’s

From July to October - The Minister of Nova Scotia Environment responds with repetitive rhetoric and disingenuous statements.

October 26 - Media Coverage: Community Liaison Committee Investigating Complaints of Noise Levels from Donkin Mine

November - The Local MLA announces that he has received at least 30 noise complaints from families.

November. 19 - The coal company again state they need three additional months to get a clearer picture of the noise situation (see above December 2019).

November 23 - A few days later, the coal company returns to the strategy of hiring a third party consultant to assist in resolving the noise issue (see above March 5th).

  • It turns out the consulant is an expert in low frequency detection and mitigation.

December - Again, the coal company returns to the strategy of hiring a noise monitoring consultant (see above May 2020).

  • Mine noise is coincidently not audible on the dates noise monitoring take place.

2021

January 6 -The Donkin Mine announces to residents via the Community Liaison Committee (CLC) that there is NO mine noise.

  • When asked about the low frequency expert's proposed solution to assist in resolving the noise issue, the Donkin Mine responds by stating they do not have time to work on it.

January 18 - The community-based Coalition sends Nova Scotia Environment and the CLC a one-minute long audio file of mine noise recorded seven kilometres from the Donkin Mine with the following narrowband analysis by a noise expert.

  • The noise from the Donkin Mine also contains low-frequency tonal hum and is the worst case they've seen in over 30 years.

  • The tonal hum is at the fan blade pass frequency of 239Hz.

  • The key concern is that the low-frequency tonal hum is 30dB above the mine noise at that frequency.

  • It was also discovered that the tonal variation (beating or modulation) is 20dB greater above the existing tonal hum.

  • "It is hardly surprising that there are complaints."

An email was sent to Nova Scotia Environmenment stating the following . . . the analysis "provides undisputable evidence that the unwanted noise from the Donkin Mine goes way beyond irritating nuisance or annoyance, disrupting sleep and infringes on our right to live and rest in a quiet environment on our property."

Nova Scotia Environment remained silent and did not respond back.

  • It turns out, the company did not inform Nova Scotia Environment of the low frequency noise hazard.

January 21 -During this meeting the coal company continues to gaslights CLC members by stating to the committee that there is NO mine noise.

  • The committee was still receiving numerous noise complaints from residents before, during and after the Christmas holidays and the New Year.

Beside being informed 3 days earlier, the coal company in communication with the low frequency expert for two months, like the concealment of six massive rock falls, failed to inform the CLC or Nova Scotia Environment of the existance of harmful low-frequency tonal hum.

  • It is later revealed that the company's junior engineer hired a noise consultant who placed the noise monitoring station at the engineer's house –– located kilometres beyond the mine boundary and actual concerned families experiencing the noise.

  • For some mysterious reason, the noise consultant invalidates the remaining two monitoring stations.

  • It is later revealed that the noise monitoring was based on dB(A), fundamentally useless to detect harmful low-frequency tones. Any competent noise consultant would have used narrowband analysis to accurately assess tonal levels.

  • Service providers are required by Kameron Coal to sign a non disclosure agreement.

February - Donkin Mine delays indefinitely the low frequency expert's recommendations –– a quick & simple solution requiring only one month for installation.

  • The Donkin Mine resorts to a common extractive industry delaying tactic of "breach of non-disclosure agreement" statement.

April - The coal company arbitrarily announce a new chairperson and committee members without the existing CLC members being aware of the meeting to participate in the vote.

April 21 - Media Coverage: Noise at Cape Breton mine has residents fuming

April 26 - Media Coverage: U.K. company says noise from Donkin Mine at 7 km away worst they’ve seen in over 30 years

May - The Honourable Keith Irving, Minister of Nova Scotia Environment meets with the Cow Bay Environmental Coalition.

May 21 - Media Coverage: Cape Breton mine noise pollution needs to stop

May 25 - Media Coverage: Community coalition calls on NS’s Environment minister to take action on Donkin Mine noise and methane pollution

May 30 - Media Coverage: Donkin mine hum: Community members, MLA Comer say provincial noise guidelines are outdated

June - We are told again that the Donkin Mine is engaging with a third party consultant to assist in resolving the noise issue.

  • It turns out the consulant is the same low frequency expert engaged back in November 23, 2020.

June - When approached for CLC membership –– the coal company informs the Coalition that it would be a "conflict of interest" and denies CLC membership.

June 9 - Media Coverage: Noise from Closed Donkin Mine a Concern for Surrounding Residents

June 11 - Media Coverage: Idle Donkin Coal Mine Continues to Generate Noise Complaints.

July 14 - Media Coverage: Noise at former Cape Breton mine site needs to be addressed

August 3 - Media Coverage: Donkin mine fan noise debilitationg

September - Donkin Mine announces that they are planning to install a fan muffler system.

September 2 - Media Coverage: Donkin mine owner to modify noisy ventilation system that's keeping residents awake

September 21 - Noise complaint sent to Kameron Coal: No response

October 7 - Noise complaint sent to Nova Scotia Environment: No response

From October to November - The company contolled CLC remains unavailable to the community.

  • Denying the community's right to be informed.

November 30 - Noise complaint sent to Kameron Coal: No response

December 10 - Noise complaint sent to Kameron Coal: No response

December Holidays- Residents living 3, 5 and 7 Kms from the coal mine experienced adverse levels of noise during the Christmas and the New Year holidays, for the third-year in a row.

2022

January - To escape the harmful low frequency tone and in an attempt to protect their family's health, residents are moving out of the local community.

  • It's poignantly ironic for local residents who revealed the low frequency hazard to Nova Scotia Environment while the coal company with the very same knowledge remain silent for months.

January 6, 15, 16, 17 & 29 - Reporting Health Hazard with NSE website: No response

January 10 - Stakeholder meeting to discuss mine noise.

January 13 - Media Coverage: Noise at former Cape Breton mine still upsetting nearby residents

January 21 - Media Coverage: ‘Constant and piercing’: Deadline extended for Donkin Mine muffler installation as noise pollution continues

  • The low frequency solution easily required only two months –– Kameron Coal still hasn't implemented the solution after 17 months.

February 1 - Noise complaint to Kameron Coal: No response

February 11- Installation of fan modifications.

March 1 - Coal company states fan modification DOES NOT work.

  • Two years ago, the coal company stated that the shipping containers were NOT successful in mitigating the noise.

March 14 - Media Coverage: Sleepless in Donkin: Mine's ventilation system still keeping people awake

  • Environment Department declines interview but states "you need to contact the company for further details of their noise mitigation and monitoring."

March 15 - Media Coverage: ‘We can’t cope’: Community frustrated as Donkin Mine hum continues despite muffler installation

March 16 - Noise complaint sent to Kameron Coal –– No response

March 17 - Noise complaint sent to Kameron Coal –– No response

March 18 - Noise complaint sent to Kameron Coal –– No response

March 18 - Nova Scotia Environment issues a directive to Kameron Coal to provide mitigation timeline.

March 19 - Noise complaint sent to Kameron Coal –– No response

April 2 - Kameron Coal unable to provide Nova Scotia Environment with mitigation timeline.

April 19 - Media Coverage: LETTER: ‘Enough is enough’: Cape Breton mine noise continues

April 21 - Media Coverage: LETTER: Noise at former Cape Breton mine like ‘torture’

April 22 - Letter sent to Premier of Nova Scotia

April 25 - Email sent to Brian Comer, local MLA and Minister of Mental Health

April 28 - Media Coverage: LETTER: Cape Breton mine noise prompts open letter to Nova Scotia premier