Bright lights at the new Pinnacle Pellet Plant in Lavington are causing concern for many residents.

Plant concerns piling up

Answers continue to be sought in hopes of clearing the air over some concerns with Lavington’s new pellet plant

Answers continue to be sought in hopes of clearing the air over some concerns with Lavington’s new pellet plant.

Resident complaints recently forced Coldstream to dig into issues around the Pinnacle Pellet Plant, ranging from sawdust storage to truck traffic.

A report was compiled by staff, but council insists additional information is needed, including presentations from Tolko, Pinnacle and the Ministry of Environment (who have all been sent invitations but no dates or times have been set yet).

One outstanding issue is the lack of an air quality monitor, which Coldstream is waiting for the MoE to install.

Staff investigated the feasibility of purchasing its own monitor and determined it would be $68,000 plus another $48,000 each year for operational costs, calibration and maintenance.

Coun. Richard Enns questioned the numbers.

“From what I understand, there are other systems available that are quite a bit cheaper,” said Enns.

But discussions also took place on whether data from any monitors independent of the ministry would even be considered.

“Anybody can go and purchase one,” said Coun. Doug Dirk. “Is that data going to be of any value, is MoE not going to look at this data as valid?”

Enns insisted that further investigation was needed.

“I think it’s important that we look at other options, in the same way that we used community resources to buy a speed reader board.”

He continued, “So we can be in the position of watchdog and not lapdog in concern to this issue.”

Another unresolved issue is lighting.

“At 40 feet high, these lights are like spotlights,” said Lavington resident Stephanie Hoffman. “I’d like to see some resolution to the lighting problem that we did address.”

Storage of sawdust is another issue residents have, as a large pile continues to accumulate outside the enclosed tent.

“Previous information presented indicates that ‘primary fibre storage in two fully enclosed tents,’” Coldstream’s chief administrative officer Trevor Seibel said in his report. “In follow up with Pinnacle they indicated that occasional staging of material will be needed before they move into the appropriate enclosed tent.”

Meanwhile three Lavington residents have taken matters into their own hands and have filed an appeal to the permit issued to Pinnacle. There is an environmental appeal board hearing, scheduled to begin April 18, 2016.

Due to this process, MoE will not engage in a public discussion regarding the issues.

But Meghan Butler, lawyer for MoE did state: “Our client is aware of the concerns from the community respecting the emissions emanating from the Pinnacle facility since its start-up on or about Sept. 28, 2015 and is undertaking an investigation of same, for which due process must be followed.”

 

Just Posted

Brain Injury Awareness Month brings discussion to Vernon

The Vernon Brain Health Symposium takes place June 1

Kal Tire Team on a roll to conquer cancer

Riders from Vernon, Kelowna, Hope and Vancouver already raised nearly $50,000

Vernon hockey icon heads to B.C. hall

Ken Holland, GM of the Edmonton Oilers, inducted into B.C. Sports Hall of Fame Thursday

RCMP set to patrol Okanagan lakes

Vernon-North Okanagan members will be on area waters helping keep boaters safe

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: weekend rain

Environment Canada forecasts continuing bad weather for the start of the weekend

Baby geese out for a gander in Okanagan

VIDEO: Families flock to the North Okanagan lakes and beaches

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Last call for contestants in Teen Band Contest

Winners will play on stage at Penticton Peach Festival in August

Hope grows for Shuswap foodbanks thanks to modest volunteers

Secret garden donated 1,100 pounds of vegetables produced last year

Salmon Arm seeks to borrow $845,000 for Shuswap Regional Airport runway

Residents have until June 24 to voice opposition to bylaw

5-foot-long snake reported lost in Rutland

Buddy the snake is reported to be harmless and was reported missing May 22

Rockslide closes one southbound lane 2 km north of Summerland

DriveBC reported the slide just after 6:30 a.m.

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Most Read