Pinnacle Pellet to make improvements

Pinnacle Pellet is taking steps to be a good neighbour, a company representative told City council Tuesday evening.

Pinnacle Pellet is taking steps to be a good neighbour, a company representative told City council Tuesday evening. The plant was at the centre of public complaints over noise and particulate matter pollution in December. Since that time company officials have met with Mayor Kerry Cook, city officials and others to determine ways to mitigate the public’s concerns. “The improvements we’ve contemplated at the plant over the next year we hope will provide improved air quality and reduced noise levels,” Craig Lodge, Pinnacle Pellet representative, told council.In the last two years, Lodge said, the company has spent approximately $250,000 on attempts to minimize “fugitive dust.” This year the company estimates it will spent $330,000 on items that it says will improve air quality including an upgrade of system components like airlocks, the installation of an improved and extended wind screen, of a larger dryer outlet pipe, the lining of conveyors to reduce steel-on-steel contact, and the enclosure of some exterior electric motors by a wall barrier. The company further expressed an interest in a site-beautification program. Lodge said he expected most of the improvements to be completed in the next nine months but many could be finished in as soon as six months.  Despite the improvements, Lodge insists the plant is in compliance with its provincial permit as it relates to air particulate emissions;  the changes, he said, are simply to address community concerns in the area that is zoned light industrial and has a mix of commercial and industrial activities.    “We realize with this interface we want to be good neighbours.” Brian Stefan, Canadian Tire dealer, was one of the complainants who expressed concern over Pinnacle’s particulate matter on his store’s property and inside its building. He is hopeful that the changes will address his concerns.“Pinnacle Pellet has given me every assurance that they will work to control the fugitive dust that escapes their property and ends up inside my building,” he said.  Councillors expressed gratitude over the company’s efforts given that the improvements are voluntary. “I empathize with people but also the work you do is dirty work. I think this is a really good news story,” said Coun. Sue Zacharias.Coun. Geoff Bourdon agreed saying, “Thank you for your co-operation because it is voluntary.”

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