Wood pellet plant proposed for Chase

Wood pellet plant proposed for Chase

$40-million facility would employ 25 local residents

Jason Hewlett / Kamloops Daily News
September 7, 2013 01:00 AM

Pinnacle has several plants in B.C.’s Interior.

A B.C. renewable energy company intends to build a $40-million wood-pellet manufacturing plant on an old sawmill site near downtown Chase.

If village residents and council approve, the Aylmer Road facility would employ about 25 locals and provide an additional 15 offshoot jobs, particularly in transporting wood to the site, said Leroy Reitsma, president and CEO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group.

“There’s probably 40 jobs in Chase that would be directly tied to that operation,” Reitsma told The Daily News. “Then there’s obviously the spin-off with increased rail activity et cetera.”


Pellet plant concerns

Write us about proposed pellet plant


I am writing to you from Chase, B.C.

We are a village of 2,600 citizens in a narrow valley at the confluence of Little Shuswap Lake and the South Thompson River.

At present, we enjoy clean air, abundant wildlife — such as eagles, osprey, big horn sheep, bears and several species of salmon and trout, in a quiet, small-town atmosphere.

I am writing because we need your help.

In the middle of our village, on Chase Creek, just meters from residential homes, is 25 acres of land that is presently zoned residential, in accord with our Official Community Plan.

Our problem is this — Pinnacle Pellet is proposing to open a pellet plant on this land and our city council seems very close to rezoning this land for that purpose.

Those of us opposed to this plan have become aware of the proposal somewhat late, in a very hurried process and are running to catch up.

Our next Village Council Meeting on this issue, after which they propose to vote, was Nov. 12.

It is our hope that citizens of your town would, please, write to the citizens of our town and let us know what it is like to have Pinnacle Pellet as a neighbour.

Sharing your real life experience with what has been billed as a “state-of-the-art” factory would be a great service to your neighbours in Chase.

I propose that you send those letters to joeynash@telus.net (me) and chase@chasebc.ca (Chase city council).

You could certainly also direct them to the Salmon Arm Observer and Kamloops This Week.

Jocelyn (Joey) Nash

Chase, B.C.

and a note from the editor too…

eyesore? try lungsore!

Plant an Eyesore

posted Oct 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM


I read the blurb in the Tribune Sept. 25, 2012 on how wonderful the Pinnacle Pellet Plant is working.

I can’t help but think this is done for the public to mitigate what a stinking, noisy, smokey eyesore it is for the town of Williams Lake.

Darcy Christensen

editorial comment here

How did this happen?

For many years (33 from the permit data) Northern Engineered Wood Products (NEWPRO) operated from a site just upwind from the main population centre of Smithers, BC. The air contaminants were routinely trapped by inversions to raise concentrations of  various nasty gases and particles in an already polluted town. See page 8 of the BC Lung State of the Air report for Smithers’ provincial ranking during NEWPRO’s last year of panelboard production. The Province authorized emissions under their permit 6099.

NEWPRO was required to report annually to Environment Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory, the NPRI. The annual NPRI figures are required and are required to be accurate – but are they? This report seems to cast doubt on this – see page 34.

Air emissions permits issued by the Province typically start off in this way  –

Under the Provisions of the Environmental Management Act
Northern Engineered Wood Products (2007) Inc.
Box 2890
Smithers, British Columbia
V0J 2N0

is authorized to discharge air contaminants to the air …

and an air contaminant is …

“… a substance that is introduced into the air and that

(a) injures or is capable of injuring the health or safety of a person,

(b) injures or is capable of injuring property or any life form,

(c) interferes with or is capable of interfering with visibility,

(d) interferes with or is capable of interfering with the normal conduct of business,

(e) causes or is capable of causing material physical discomfort to a person, or

(f) damages or is capable of damaging the environment”

So is particulate matter capable of causing harm?  In Canada this is conclusively established by Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the list of legally toxic substances, where we find, in the list number

51. Respirable particulate matter less than or equal to 10 microns

So there isn’t any doubt about it – an air emissions permit authorizes harm to people who breath the pollution. How can this come about??

Regulatory capture is sometimes said to be at work in this context. The BC Auditor General seems to agree – here

Perhaps the following image will lay out part of the answer.


just buddies…