Vernon News

School board contemplates decision on Lavington pellet plant

The Lavington Elementary School playground backs onto the Tolko mill property, where a new pellet plant is proposed to go.
Image Credit: Contributed

VERNON - The Vernon school board will soon let the Ministry of Environment know how it feels about a proposed pellet plant.

Trustees received input from those in favour of the project and those against, and are now preparing to send their recommendations to the Ministry.

Pinnacle Renewable Energy president Leroy Reitsma presented to the board Aug. 28 and parents were heard at a special meeting Sept. 2.

The proposed plant would be located close to Lavington Elementary School and while operators insist the project poses little risk, parents are concerned about the health and safety of their children.

Fugitive dust, truck and railroad traffic, and the proximity of the school if the wood pellet plant ever caught fire are some of the concerns parents expressed.

Superintendent Joe Rogers says trustees will decide their recommendations at an in camera meeting (closed to the public) next week.

“The ultimate motion will have some say around our students and staff learning in a healthy environment,” Rogers says.

Pinnacle and partner company Tolko earned rezoning approval from the District of Coldstream last month, but a permit from the Ministry of Environment is required before the project advances.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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