Rail tie burning raises health concerns

Letter writer concerned about Atlantic Power's rail tie burning proposal and hydrogen chloride gas emissions.

Editor:

I have been a resident of Williams Lake since 2004 and I consider it to be my home.

I read John Pickford’s letter in the Tribune, August 17, and the Ministry of Environment says that there is no ambient air testing for HCL (Hydrogen Chloride Gas) emissions in Williams Lake.

Wikipedia states inhalation of the fumes can cause coughing, choking, inflammation of the nose, throat and upper respiratory tract and in severe cases, pulmonary edema, circulatory system failure and death.

Contact can cause redness, pain, and severe skin burns.

Hydrogen chloride gas may cause severe burns to the eye and permanent eye damage.

The permit is for 271 tonnes of HCL annually, if they are not testing for HCL how are they going to know how much they are putting out?

As someone who has a respiratory disability I am wondering how safe this community is going to be for people who suffer from asthma, COPD or emphysema. What needs to happen is not to burn ties at all.

This will be a death sentence to all people like me. It is a high price to pay to make shareholders of Atlantic Power a profit. They don’t live here. I do.

The Province of B.C. and the City of Williams Lake should be protecting its citizens not killing them.

Mrs. K. O’Connor

Williams Lake

 

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