Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy
10.5°C

Union alleges Kitimat smelter emissions turn residents into 'guinea pigs'

Large sections of pipe are shown on a neighboring property to Julia Trigg Crawford family farm, in Sumner, Texas on Oct. 4, 2012. Image Credit:
Image Credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
March 17, 2015 - 7:30 PM

VICTORIA - A lawyer for smelter union workers says a petition filed Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court claims the provincial government is allowing Kitimat residents to become pollution guinea pigs.

Court documents filed by Unifor Local 2301 claim the province permitted Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., to undertake its $3.3 billion Kitimat aluminum smelter modernization without requiring the company to reduce harmful sulphur dioxide emissions.

The petition seeks to set aside the government's October 2014 approval on the grounds of failure to consider expert advice on pollution-reduction measures that include installing scrubbers to prevent adverse effects on human health.

Unifor's lawyer Jason Gratl says sulphur dioxide causes respiratory problems and daily emissions from the Kitimat smelter will increase from 27 tonnes to 42 tonnes.

Neither Rio Tinto nor the B.C. government could not be immediately reached for comment.

Last July, Environment Minister Mary Polak released an independent, government-funded report that concluded the Kitimat air shed can handle prospective oil, gas and aluminum industry growth with proper management.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
  • Routine stop in Kamloops turns into yelling match on Halston Avenue
    KAMLOOPS - What should have been a straightforward impaired driving check became tense yesterday as people in two cars yelled at each other about who had guns in their cars, police say. Arou
  • Body of man found dead in Vernon identified
    VERNON - The man found dead last week in Vernon has been identified as Dustin Rogers in a report from Global News. According to police, a body was discovered about 7:24 a.m. March 23 near
  • Canadian ship involved in massive cocaine bust in international waters
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Royal Canadian Navy vessel was involved in an international anti-drug trafficking mission that led to the seizure of more than 14 tonnes of cocaine in international water
  • Semi dodges man on Trans Canada near Chase
    CHASE - A distraught man narrowly avoided serious injury last week after jumping in front of a semi on the Trans Canada near Chase. RCMP say a commercial transport truck was traveling on the
  • Kamloops RCMP bust drug dealer
    KAMLOOPS – Police in Kamloops have arrested a Falkland man for drug trafficking following an investigation two weeks ago. RCMP say members of the Street Level Drug Unit conducted an in
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile