Mary Forbes (from left) and Frances McCoubrey Williams Lake ask questions of Atlantic Power’s environmental manager Terry Shannon (second from right) and independent consultants Bart Koppe

Mary Forbes (from left) and Frances McCoubrey Williams Lake ask questions of Atlantic Power’s environmental manager Terry Shannon (second from right) and independent consultants Bart Koppe

Atlantic Power’s draft permit up for comment

The public has 30 days from June 22, 2016 to respond to a draft amended permit for Atlantic Power Corp.

The public has 30 days from June 22, 2016 to respond to a draft amended permit for Atlantic Power Corp., which includes storage and burning of rail ties as fuel for its biomass-fuelled electricity generating plant in Williams Lake.

That’s what the 100 people who attended an open house at the Gibraltar Room Tuesday evening learned.

In 2015, the company announced it was proposing the burning of rail ties to blend with residual fibre from wood processing plants in the area, as its contract to supply electricity to BC Hydro expires in 2018.

In its discussions with BC Hydro, Atlantic Power said it needs to ensure it has a stable and secure supply of fibre, and with the Allowable Annual Cut being reduced, it thinks that might be a problem.

The draft amended permit issued by the Ministry of Environment stipulates that un-shredded rail ties must be contained in an area separate from the clean biomass and protected from precipitation and storm run off and a maximum of 3,000 tons of shredded rail tie material may be stored on site at any one time, but it must be in an enclosed bin, protected from the elements.

And any fugitive odour and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions with the city’s boundary from the transport, storage and processing of rail tie feed stock must be suppressed and controlled.

Prior to acceptance of the rail tie material at the Atlantic Power site, the company must prepare, implement and maintain a revised fire prevention and control plan, certified by a qualified professional.

The company will also have to update its storm water and effluent management plan.

Williams Lake resident Mary Forbes asked Atlantic Power’s environmental manager Terry Shannon if the company will be paid to take the rail ties.

“Are you going to release that information to the public?” she asked.

Shannon said so far there have been no discussions  about price, volumes or what CN can deliver.

“We still want to stay in business whether we are burning railway ties or if BC Hydro will allow us to burn roadside logging debris, which they won’t,” Shannon said.

“But we have to have the permit in place before we can negotiate a price for railway ties.”

Forbes suggested Atlantic Power form a community liaison group such as Gibraltar Mine has, to share information with the public.

“Atlantic Power would meet with this community group of loud mouth environmentalists that would be interested in making sure you do what you said you were going to do, for example let us know what the dioxin levels are,” Forbes said.

Shannon encouraged Forbes to e-mail him a request, adding Atlantic Power is part of the existing air quality roundtable in the city.

The draft permit, the draft Ministry Assessment and other relevant documents may be viewed at

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

Just Posted

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read