Inversion in the valley as viewed from 168 Mile Road with Fox Mountain to the left and Atlantic Power in the valley to the right.

Inversion in the valley as viewed from 168 Mile Road with Fox Mountain to the left and Atlantic Power in the valley to the right.

Letter: Where will ash be stored?

I live at the top of 168 Mile Road looking towards Westridge above and to the northeast of the Atlantic Power Plant.

Editor:

I live at the top of 168 Mile Road looking towards Westridge above and to the northeast of the Atlantic Power Plant.

I drive past the plant morning, noon and night on the Mackenzie Avenue connector. I already have concerns about the mountainous acres of wood waste piled at this plant that is constantly steaming or catching fire, or being sent into the atmosphere on windy days.

I cannot believe their permit would allow this amount of dangerous, combustible material to be stored in city limits.

I will confess I like the smell of wood, a good campfire or the smell of a lumber yard but on the weekend of Oct. 16-17, and again to a lesser extent on Oct. 23, the smell as I drove by and then when I got out of my car in the driveway was acrid, eye burning and immediately made you feel like you had a head cold.

My neighbours all comment on it. It was a chemical smell and it was strongest as you drove past the power plant.

I can only guess that something was different on those days. In my research I have read that the biggest complaints of neighbours for plants burning railway ties are the chipping dust, smell and storage of the railway ties.

A radio interview with Scott Nelson, one of our city councillors, stated in answer to a question about complaints in previous years, that the complaints were about the location of the chipping process and storage of the ties.

Literally five minutes up the road in a quantity 10 times that amount is not an answer to those complaints just because it may be hidden from view.

That is also my greatest concern. The chipping every three days, the vast storage of thousands of ties trucked here from all over the country.

As well, where is the ash going to be trucked to and stored? Does the ash after burning creosote still contain chemicals? Is there really a study that knows what the long-term effects are?

Kamloops’ city and medical community did not want their citizens used as experiments in the unknown long-term effects in a valley atmosphere.

We are in an even smaller valley that is subject to inversion numerous times of the year.

These supposedly safe emissions do not blow away in the wind. Right beside this plant is a hockey rink and the local stockyards, as well as homes just up the street. It is not in the middle of nowhere.

This plant is a corporation with shareholders and is only interested in the bottom line.

Our city council and CRD are only interested in the tax dollars they would lose if this plant shuts down. I would hope your interest lies in the impact on human health.

There was a reason they were only allowed to burn five per cent railway ties in the first place and should stay that way.

If they can truck ties from all over the place they can truck wood waste just the same. They are looking for a cheaper alternative.

Cogeneration plants were not built to burn railway ties for energy. If they had a plant, not in a valley right in city limits, but in an open area away from population then I may think differently.

Please say no to Atlantic Power’s application or, at the very least, to mitigate the risks and have their storage and chipping facilities out of town and truck the chip waste here as needed, stored in a safe environment for a few days worth at a time.

Karen Dunphy

Williams Lake