The Pinnacle Pellet plant in Lavington has been given a clean bill.
Coldstream Council this week received an Environment Ministry report of emissions testing over three years.
Mayor Jim Garlick says even with wildfire smoke, the tests showed no excess in particulate matter.
“They do not fall outside of the air quality limits. So they are saying the pellet plant has minimal impact, if any, on the air quality in the area,” Garlick tells Beach Radio News.
But he adds there are those who don’t believe it.
“That said, the testing needs to continue, and they’d like to see it done in different places because the testing at this point in time was done close in to the pellet plant, and they’d like to see it done further away from the pellet plant.”
The test station was set up at the Lavington Baptist Church.
Garlick says the report showed that Lavington and Vernon have similar air quality.
Because of that, the plan is to close the testing station in Lavington and just use the Vernon Science Centre Air monitoring station.
Garlick says the testing is supposed to end, but the District is going to ask the Environment Ministry for an ongoing extension.
“We also want to put forward the idea at the regional district, we have some new players up there, of a regional airshed committee that would look at the broader picture.”
Garlick says there is more than the pellet plant and other industrial operations that impact air quality.
He points to open burning, with questions about what is burnt, the time burning takes place, and how often.
The recently re-elected mayor says Coldstream may step up enforcement of open burning regulations.
He says more modern technology that is coming will allow for moving monitoring around, to get even better results of the entire area.
Garlick says there has been a plume seen in the area in recent days and the environment ministry is working with Pinnacle to fix that.
Photo courtesy of Global News