KAMLOOPS – From how to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to approving an expansion at Moly-Cop, council had a lot to say about sustainability Tuesday.
Energy Management Coordinator Luisa Mora explained the city greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy and the importance of reducing energy, especially from a corporate perspective. The strategy focuses on buildings, infrastructure, fleet and equipment as well as awareness and leadership.
Mora notes in Kamloops 60 per cent of greenhouse gases come from vehicles and as a result staff would like to see an anti-idling campaign to help bring awareness to the issue as well as utility monitoring and tracking to better understand who is consuming energy in the city and what can be improved upon.
Staff asked for, and received, permission to use funding from carbon tax refunds to implement a monitoring service at the cost of $54,000 per year to help achieve greater efficiency out of each metered system, Mora said.
“What doesn't get measured doesn't get changed,” Coun. Ken Christian quipped in giving his nod of approval to the project.
Jen Fretz later asked council to authorize staff to indicate the city has no technical objections with a proposed expansion of Moly-Cop, which produces grinding media for the mining industry. The Ministry of Environment is seeking input from the city about the discharge of emissions from the proposed plant expansion, which would see a new plant, similar to the current one, built directly south of the existing building operating 24 hours per day for most of the year (322-325 days) beginning in March 2015.
Fretz explained the emissions would meet requirements and said that currently Moly-Cop is ranked 496 for greenhouse gas emissions among Canadian industry, which is 'very low.' The current application is for natural gas fuel only, which helped ease the minds of many council members though many still voiced concern over air quality and what this expansion could potentially do for Kamloops air.
Fretz echoed concerns that the cumulative effect of all industry does need to be looked at and weighing industry versus environment is something council has to look at.
“Is it possible this could be the straw that broke the camel's back per se? Yes,” Fretz said, “but I don't think it will be.”
She noted overall Moly-Cop has a relatively small discharge amount, which matches well with the city looking for 'clean industry.'
Mayor Peter Milobar and Coun. Pat Wallace were both happy Moly-Cop wants to make this investment in the city.
“I'm comfortable with it, they've been a good social citizen,” Milobar said. “Quite frankly, they're willing to make the investment.... Moly-Cop is taking a leap of faith in our local economy.
Here is how Moly-Cop currently stacks up against other local industry when it comes to emissions (based on emission reports to the B.C. Ministry of Environment between March and August of this year):
New Afton Mine – 13,224 tonnes of CO2e, mostly onsite transportation
Moly-Cop - 16,229 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), mostly stationary fuel combustion
Tolko – 14,766 tonnes of CO2e, mostly stationary fuel combustion, plus 26,635 tonnes of emissions from combustion of biomass
Lafarge – 129,541 tonnes of CO2e, mostly from process and fuel combustion
Highland Valley Copper Mine – 154,903 tonnes of CO2e, 17,347 tonnes from stationary fuel combustion and 137,556 tonnes from onsite transportation
Domtar – 114,909 tonnes of CO2e, mostly from stationary fuel combustion, plus 1,772,560 tonnes of emissions from combustion of biomass (629,719 tonnes from stationary fuel combustion and 1,142,841 tonnes from industrial process)
To contact a reporter for this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.