Letters: Decision to purchase biomass plant well researched and thought out

I wondered why a company would buy a biomass plant when the fuel to operate it was in decline.

Editor:

I wondered why a company would buy a biomass plant when the fuel to operate it was in decline.

I thought that the company surely did not do its research or it would know that the lumber industry is in its sunset years. I then read Decision No. 542-R-2000 from the Canadian Transportation Industry.

The case was brought before the transportation industry by CN Rail who was wanting to salvage 45.8 miles of their Cudworth line in Saskatchewan.

CN stated that at the time (2000) the cost to dispose of rail ties was $5.00 a tie. At that time the Province of Saskatchewan’s Municipal Refuse Management Regulations stated: “that any material treated with hazardous wastes cannot be disposed of at waste disposal grounds.

As creosote is classified as a poisonous liquid and an environmentally hazardous substance, creosote impregnated railway ties could only be disposed of at facilities that are equipped to handle industrial hazardous waste which do not exist in Saskatchewan.”

CN argued that there were very limited options for disposal… “the most feasible solution and the only environmentally acceptable option is to transport ties to a site where they can be safely incinerated.

The respondents have identified three facilities, two in British Columbia and one in Quebec. As the costs to transport the railway ties to Quebec is prohibitive, the respondents have estimated the costs based on the facility located in Williams Lake, British Columbia.”

A light went on in my head, my feelings are now, and I can be wrong.

Atlantic Power did do its due diligence and knew that Williams Lake was already designated as a toxic tie disposal site.

It didn’t matter that the supply of forestry fuel was in decline as there was an unlimited supply of rail ties that CN had to pay to get rid of.

The acquisition of the biomass plant was not an ill fated poor business decision, rather a well thought one.

It already had permission from the Ministry of Environment for 5 per cent ties all it had to do was to get it increased to 50 per cent.

The discovery that Williams Lake’s reputation as an industrial hazardous waste disposal site comes with questions.

Who allowed this?

How did this happen without the knowledge of the citizens?

How can a company’s bottom line dictate the identity of a community?

Is this what we want?

Kim Herdman

Williams Lake

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

Just Posted

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Skating rink welcomed

This lake one will not last long but is still worth it

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: New batteries close to industrial level applications

The good news is the hope that this cost should come down each year

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

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

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read