March 6, 2013

Jim Kipp's letter to Nanaimo City Council and Nanaimo City Staff:

Mayor and Council, Senior Staff

Where do I begin? The position that I find my self in is very troubling as I understand the risk of the Colliery failure better than most but do not accept the base risk calculation as being realistic, achievable or comprehendible that this standard is being first proposed and then accepted regarding the 1 in 10,000 event needs.

The professionals have set an unachievable standard that does not compare to other areas of risk calculation that we use for construction. We all agree that with a 1 in 10,000 event there would be catastrophic failure across the island and we all live with that today and accept the risk that comes with it. try to work at an achievable and realistic level 1 in 3000 or 1 in 5000.

We just built Bowen road to a 1 in 200 year event, our building code is based on a Richter 7 which is supposed to happen every 15 years but has not since 1946. the last major subduction earthquake was Jan. 26 1700 around 926 at night, 9 on the Richter, or so, which means total destruction of most construction. We did not build our SARC to a 1 in 10, 000 and more than 100 could die, and the 1 in 10,000 will decimate the community including Westwood earthen dam and what do we do about this?

How can I accept what I consider an arbitrarily applied risk calculation and standards that have no consistency? The only consistency is appointed bodies set the framework for a lot of future work for their peer groups. And where does it end; Water and sewer systems, high occupancy buildings, Fire/police, Hospitals, Schools, roads? The new no. 1 reservoir fails, is it to 1 in 10,000 and what is the risk of failure?

With regards to the Colliery rehabilitation it is my understanding that all feasible options would be considered and discussed. The issue may require mitigation by reducing the water level by mechanical siphon??? Flood control, one of the concerns, how is it being dealt with to reduce the ongoing risk?

We as council need to deal with what is being looked at, more to come.