July 11, 2016 - 2:30 PM
LAVINGTON - After being delayed multiple times, an environmental appeal hearing over the Pinnacle Renewable Energies pellet plant in Lavington will not be going ahead after all.
Instead, the parties involved settled the matter three weeks ago with the help of qualified mediator Jeffrey Hand, a member of the Environmental Appeal Board appointed to mediate the dispute.
Three local residents filed the appeal with the B.C.’s Environmental Appeal Board last year, calling for a review of the Ministry of Environment’s decision to grant Pinnacle an air discharge permit.
The hearing was postponed three times, and now the parties say they have resolved the matter.
“The Ministry of Justice can confirm that mediation took place on June 17, 2016 in Kelowna between all the parties and that all issues were resolved amicably,” a spokesperson told iNFOnews.ca by email. “No other details of the mediation can be disclosed due to the confidentiality agreement in the mediation.”
Pinnacle president Leroy Reitsma wasn’t available for an interview, but provided the following statement:
“The appeal has been settled and we are looking forward to many years as a member of the Lavington community.”
One of the appellants, Tom Coape-Arnold, is also saying very little about what took place in the meeting.
“All I can say is that a mediated settlement was reached by the three appellants and the government of B.C., and the appeal to the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board was abandoned. Details of the settlement will be made available to the public at a future time to be determined.”
The appellants initially launched the action out of concerns for human health and safety with regards to pollution from the pellet plant.
— This story was corrected at 11:48 a.m. July 13, 2016 to say the matter was settled by a member of the Environmental Appeal Board appointed to mediate the dispute. An earlier version of the story stated a mediator working on behalf of the Ministry of Justice mediated the dispute.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016