A presentation was given to the Peace River Regional District board on Thursday, regarding health issues related to rapid oil and gas development within northeast B.C.The presentation was given by Dr. Charl J. Badenhorst, a medical health officer with Northern Health.- Advertisement -Dr. Badenhorst’s presentation updated the Board on the health concerns of northern residents in relation to oil and gas development. He requested support from the District to present a health plan surrounding oil and gas activities to the Province’s Ministry of Health.Dr. Badenhorst discussed a variety of health issues present in the north, which are related to the oil and gas industry, such as greenhouse gas emissions, the risk of explosions, as well as over exposure to lethal/toxic chemicals and high levels of exhaust.He says that according to Northern Health, residents residing in the northeast have a 30 per cent increased risk of dying earlier than the rest of the province. He also says that lifestyle choices and upbringing also play a role in this study.After taking questions from the committee, Dr. Badenhorst had outlined that he feels a new health plan would be conducive to good health in the northeast. He asked for the District’s support to send a letter to the Ministry about these health-related concerns.Advertisement Dr. Badenhorst says the next step will now be to send a letter to the Ministry of Health, requesting the development of a new community health plan. Although, he stressed that this can not be done in isolation, but must include the participation of the people who the health plan would affect.As for a timeline, he says the letter must be presented to the Ministry very quickly, so the plan can be quickly developed.The Board will discuss whether or not they support the issue in the near future.