January 13, 2015 - 4:33 PM
COLDSTREAM - A controversial wood pellet plant has made it over another procedural hurdle.
In a split 4-2 vote Monday, Jan. 12, Coldstream council decided to issue Pinnacle Renewable Energies a development permit for its proposed pellet plant on School Road, next to the existing Tolko sawmill.
Mill opponents attended the meeting and asked council to hold off issuing the permit until more is known about the mill’s potential adverse impacts on the community. But Mayor Jim Garlick says council was past all that.
“The development permit is all about form and character. You can’t withhold the permit for other reasons,” Garlick says. “They (Pinnacle) met all the requirements so it was passed.”
Pinnacle has approval from the Ministry of Environment and the Agricultural Land Commission to construct the plant, now all it needs is a building permit.
“Now, I think to get it up and running is a positive thing. It keeps existing employment in the area, enhances jobs, and makes our mills and railway viable,” Garlick says.
The mayor commends the public for coming out and voicing their concerns over what turned out to be a long, and at times emotional, process.
“I think any time the public brings forward concerns like this, legitimate concerns, and makes them understood, we can address them and get something better than we would have if we just rubber stamped it,” Garlick says. “The concerns around the plant going in have led to one of the most stringent air permits that have been issued in the province, according to Ministry of Environment staff.”
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—This story was edited at 6:20 a.m. Jan. 14 to correct the vote to 4-2, not 3-2 as previously stated.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015