Burning questions

Please allow me to address and correct several assumptions and inaccuracies in Mr. Carruthers’ letter regarding the generation plant.


Please allow me to address and correct several assumptions and inaccuracies in Mr. Carruthers’ letter regarding the generation plant printed in the August 10 issue of the Tribune.

Mr. Carruthers puts blind faith in the Ministry of Environment (MOE) to test discharges from Atlantic Power (AP) generation facility. In fact, MOE leaves such testing to AP and the company’s hired contractors.

I believe ongoing testing by an arms-length, independent government agency — MOE — is preferable to protect the health of 11,000 residents of the city.

Mr. Carruthers also states that AP be allowed to proceed “…with adequate and ongoing testing.”

In fact, AP has applied (via Permit Amendment application of 2015.10.08 ) for the request to “Remove the requirement that continuous emission monitors be maintained and audited..”

The testing conducted in support of AP request for a permit amendment from MOE has been done by various private entities hired and compensated by AP.

This data is contained in the “Consultation Report,” a thick binder of documents and submissions compiled on behalf of AP, and available for perusal at our local library.

Since Mr.Carruthers states that he has worked near the plant, he may find some of this data informative, such as the  Page 28 report from Intrinsik detailing emissions in the immediate vicinity of the plant and relevant health forecasts.

I have been informed by a representative of MOE that there is no ambient air testing for HCL (Hydrogen Chloride Gas) emission in Williams Lake.

The Draft Permit allows AP to emit up to 271 tonnes of HC annually.

I have no doubt that Mr. Carruthers’ sense of smell that he alludes to in his letter, is excellent.

However, I believe an ongoing, independent testing program is a more precise measurement of any AP emissions.

Regarding the often trotted out remark regarding fly ash: is it an either/or choice? —  return to days of fly ash or have emissions of many toxic, invisible chemicals?

I think not. However, if it were the only choice I’d choose the devil I can see.

In summation, does the proposal regarding burning of creosoted rail ties from Western Canada meet the following test:

• Is it the truth?

• Is it fair to all concerned?

• Will it build goodwill and better friendship?

• Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

John Pickford

Williams Lake


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