Tolko operations shift in Lavington

Time is running out for anyone wanting to air their concerns over an air discharge permit at Lavington’s Tolko sawmill.

The Tolko sawmill in Lavington has received an amended draft air discharge permit

Time is running out for anyone wanting to air their concerns over an air discharge permit at Lavington’s Tolko sawmill.

The draft permit will be posted until the end of Tuesday, Dec. 20 at

Questions and/or comments during this period should be sent to both and

But the short time line has raised some concerns.

“The draft permit should be open to broad public review, including a public open house,” said Tom Coape-Arnold, of Lavington LIFE.

“The consultation report, as required by MOE (Ministry of Environment), should also be released for public information.”

The process has been underway since July, when an Environmental Protection Notice was filed due to a change in conditions and emissions reduction from the Jeffers Drive planer mill. The new permit is necessary following upgrades made following the pellet plant project.

The draft permit includes provisions for a  dust monitoring plan, fugitive dust control and other plans and measures.

The amendments include the elimination of the silo-type woodwaste burner, chip loading tower and sawmill chip cyclones. It also shows an increased number of natural gas fired lumber dry kilns from two to five (with maximum flows increasing from eight m3/min to 129), an added sawdust cyclone and sawmill dust cyclones.

With those changes the total emissions from the plant have been reduced.

“The emissions sources and permitted emissions in the draft permit are the same as the changes we had communicated to the public in the summer notification process,” said Michael Towers, Tolko’s manager of energy and environment.

Tolko will also be responsible for receiving complaints on the environmental performance of the facility.

“The permittee must follow up with each complaint, investigate and resolve as appropriate,” reads the permit.

But the permit does not include requirements for a site-specific Environmental Management Plan – among other provisions that were set out in a policy paper issued by MOE in 2015 on the wood processing industry code of practice.

MOE has been monitoring fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Lavington for over a year now and results show no exceedences from provincial objectives.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Schubert Centre reopens with new chef, menu to serve Vernon

Farm-to-table focused chef aims to serve up more local eats to seniors, diners

Petition wants ‘aggressive dogs’ banned from Vernon-area parks

Local woman starts online petition to urge RDNO to change bylaws after reported dog attack

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

556 child care spots for Vernon area welcomed, chamber says

Province announced funding for thousands of child care positions in 35 communities Friday

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read