How City of Kamloops, residents are keeping Lafarge's new operations in check - InfoNews

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How City of Kamloops, residents are keeping Lafarge's new operations in check

Kamloops City Council will extend the comment period for Lafarge's new permit until May 31. The company is looking into putting in a gypsum granulator system.
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April 12, 2018 - 2:56 PM

KAMLOOPS - For one nearby neighbour of Lafarge, word of a new gypsum granulator system coming into place isn't her concern - but the lack of environmental monitoring is.

Shirley Kimery, a neighbour only a couple houses down from the plant, says she has no problem with the company’s new operations, but would like to the see the Ministry of Environment step up and monitor the plant’s emissions more often, something they have failed to do in the past before Lafarge shut down their cement plant in 2016, says Kimery.

“I moved into an industrial location and I understand that sometimes we have to suck it up,” she says. “But it’s the lack of monitoring of environmental emissions and making sure they (Lafarge) are within their limits.”

At the city’s regular council meeting, April 10, councillor Denis Walsh brought up last week’s public information session regarding the permit for the gypsum granulator and the concerns some residents have about the release of dust particulate into the air.

“It was a quite heated debate, there is a lot of mistrust with the corporation,” Walsh says, adding that extending the comment period for the permit will allow residents to provide more input about their concerns for the envrionment from the gypsum granulator.

Walsh suggested creating a public committee with Lafarge officials and members of the community - something they have done with Lafarge in the past - would be beneficial for environmental updates from the company and ensure community members stay informed. The conversation led councillors to pass a motion to extend the comment period to May 31 to allow more public input.

In response to the public session last week, Lafarge spokesperson, Jennifer Lewis says the company will work with residents to keep them informed in the future.

"At Lafarge's information session we collected contact information from attendees and will stay in touch with them directly," she says.

Kimery says she has noticed a difference in dust pollution around her home since Lafarge closed its cement plant but is still a supporter of the company's new operations as long as their air pollution emissions are being followed up on with the Ministry of Environment.

"Life and environment has definitely improved," she says. "I don't have to use vinegar to clean dust off anymore."

The longtime resident says she's aware of the sacrifice living close to industrial areas, but hopes to see some environmental improvements with the plant's new operations.


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