Coldstream council is debating air quality issues related to Tolko's Lavington mill.

Coldstream council is debating air quality issues related to Tolko's Lavington mill.

Council revisits air quality issue

Coldstream politicians hold special meeting Monday to discuss Tolko application

Some cloudy details have precipitated the need for clarity in Coldstream over air quality.

The district will hold a special meeting of council Monday at 6 p.m. to better define a letter of recommendations being sent to the Ministry of Environment in regards to an application from Tolko Industries.

An environmental protection notice has been filed due to a change in conditions and emissions reduction from the Lavington planer mill which is looking to amend its permit.

As part of the process, Coldstream has been asked to supply comments or recommendations.

“We are not ordering anybody to do anything. This is a referral,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

“They will take our input and include it in their decision.”

Some public concerns have been raised over the change in emissions.

“What’s happened over the years is the mill has been revamped and emissions will come from different places,” said Garlick. “I think there was confusion over that.”

Tolko representatives say the process not only cleans up an outdated application, but also the air.

“The new permit will be a significant reduction in permitted emission from the Lavington sawmill compared to the old permit,” said Michael Towers, Tolko’s manager of energy supply and systems.

Meanwhile Coldstream would like to the see MoE step up its own action.

“We think they should review it every three to five years,” said Garlick.

The district’s recommendations are as follows:

– Adequate and continual monitoring is essential in order to ensure the collection of baseline data as well as ministry enforcement against infractions. Further, data should be collected from a secondary source point in order to obtain the best background data available.

– Tolko and the Pinnacle pellet plant should be encouraged work collaboratively to develop strategies towards further reducing greenhouse gas emissions at their adjacent sites.

– Tolko and the Pinnacle pellet plant should be encouraged work collaboratively to further reduce the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) generated from their adjacent sites.

– Cyclone bag-houses pose an explosion risk and, due to their proximity to the rail line, fire hall, elementary school and residences, Tolko should be required to replace the cyclone filters with safer equipment.

– The district requests that the ministry review the discharge permit on a more regular basis (every three to five years) to ensure that the actual points of emissions match with the permitted points of emissions.

Any person who may be adversely affected by the proposed amendment can send comments to the applicant (environment@tolko.com), with a copy to the regional manager, Environmental Protection at 2080-A Labieux Rd., Nanaimo, V9T 6J9 or Safwan.soufan@gov.bc.ca.

“The comment period is scheduled to run through the end of Aug 21,” said Towers.

“After that date, we will review the comments received from all parties and work with the MOE to determine if anything needs to be addressed in our permit.”