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School district calls special meeting on proposed pellet plant

School district 22 superintendent Joe Rogers.
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August 25, 2014 - 4:54 PM

VERNON - The Vernon School District wants assurances a proposed pellet plant won’t be harmful to student health.

Superintendent Joe Rogers says the school board will hear from Pinnacle Renewable Energy and Tolko Wednesday night at a special meeting.

The companies want to build the pellet plant near Lavington Elementary, next to Tolko’s existing mill off School Road.

“This (meeting) is really about understanding what Pinnacle is doing and what assurances we have around air quality,” Rogers says.

Residents and parents were vocal at a District of Coldstream public hearing on the matter, expressing concern about potential effects on air quality due to the plant's emissions. Some parents indicated they would remove their students from Lavington Elementary if the plant goes ahead.

The District of Coldstream recently supported a rezoning application from Pinnacle and Tolko, giving them the ability to construct the plant at its intended site. The project still requires permission from the Ministry of Environment in order to proceed.

Rogers admits the board has no say on whether the plant is given the green light, adding the meeting is for information only.

“We want to ensure staff and students are safe going to school there,” Rogers says.

The meeting will be held at the board office on 15 Street at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. The board will be available for questions following Pinnacle and Tolko’s presentation.

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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