October 29, 2015 - 4:30 PM
VERNON - No one knows for sure what’s being emitted from a new pellet plant in Lavington — it might just be steam, or it might be harmful particulate matter as critics suggest — but it’s all just guesswork until because a monitoring station still hasn't been installed.
The Pinnacle Pellet Plant has been operating for about a month, and anxious residents approached the District of Coldstream Monday to air their concerns about noise, traffic and air pollution. Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick says they've been assured by Ministry of Environment staff the monitoring equipment is coming.
“We’re looking into the concerns,” Garlick says. “The noise we felt should be less so we’re working with Pinnacle on that.”
The company has already installed some silencers on the hammer mill and boxed in equipment to reduce noise, Garlick says.
As for air quality concerns, the plant is supposed to release only steam from its drying stacks, but residents insist they’ve seen brown and grey smoke at times.
“There are pictures where it appears to be more than steam in the air, so we’d like to see the air quality monitoring system up,” Garlick says. “That needs to be done, rather than people saying it’s one thing or another, we need some data to refer to.”
Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster has been in touch with the Ministry of Environment to check on the progress of the monitoring station and says there’s pressure to get it installed.
“We need to get that done ASAP,” Foster says.
Read previous stories on the Lavington Pellet Plant here.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015