There’s a 36 year tradition of pouring air pollution out just upwind of Smithers and those fine folks at Pinnacle Renewable Energy are clearly carrying on business as usual. The BC Ministry of Environment operates a very useful pollution monitoring station at St. Josephs School in Smithers and the data gathered is archived at https://envistaweb.env.gov.bc.ca/. You wouldn’t say the user interface is very intuitive but it does work and is pretty quick.
Out of curiosity about whether the new pellet manufacturing was having an effect on PM2.5 levels here, a date range was chosen up to November 25th 2018 that started after the big-time fire smoke, so settled on September 1st to November 25th. The average 1 hour PM2.5 reading for that period was 10.8 micrograms per cubic metre. Over the same date range from 2014 to 2017 the value was 8.45 and for the two years 2012 and 2013 we measured 10.3.
A picture is worth a thousand micrograms so…
Column 1 was added to make the other columns start at zero for better comparing.
And here we see that column 2, from years 2012 and 2013, is taller (more pollution) than column 3 (years 2014-2017, a 22% drop) and column 4 is from 2018, a rebound of 27%, somewhat higher than when Smithers was blessed with a particleboard plant. So yes, Pinnacle IS carrying on business as usual.
Three dryer stacks:
Can be found here. Weird form bug makes type tiny, the little text is, "This permit amendment has been analysed and determined to be a public health hazard by Dr. Elizabeth Bastian GP Oncologist with Northern Health and ought not to have been approved. It prejudices my health and that of others in a highly discriminatory way. My Charter rights and those of others under section 7 have been breached by this decision."
On October 5, 2017 this letter arrived. I expect I was notified as an interested person. The amended permit is here.
The 24 hour average reading in Smithers was 10 micrograms per cubic meter on the 28th
December 5, 2016
A fire was extinguished quickly by Smithers firefighters at NewPro late Sunday night.
The fire was called in shortly before midnight. No injuries have been reported.
It took the firefighters less than two hours to get the fire under control. No word yet on what caused the fire, damage, or when employees may be able to return to work.
more at the Interior News
and a link as well to other recent news.
Our comrades on the other side of the continental divide have got a fabulous idea at last. Where's the Fraser Institute when you really need them, eh?
Like this: "If the people illustrated here had true freedom, they could choose the quality of air that suited their own breathing preferences." More at: http://albertapolitics.ca/2015/09/fake-news-wildrose-urges-market-based-breathing-solutions-to-ease-air-quality-woes/
From an interview with Dave Jacobs of NEWPRO in The Interior News July 6, 2016, p. A3
Jacobs said he understands the concerns about emissions from the plant.
“I am not so naive that I would say oh, we are not a part of the problem, because of course we are,” he said. “Anything that emits. The minute you start up your car you are part of the problem. So we are not so foolish as to think we have nothing to do with it.”
This article appears to not have been posted yet online, we'll link to it when it's available.
What’s Newpro up to now?
From 15 June, 2016 at 10:22PM
What’s in the plume? Well according to their 2013 NPRI report, methanol, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter of various sizes (37 tonnes) beta-pinene, formaldehyde (16 tonnes) and alpha pinene. The finished product comes with its own
material safety data sheet
Let’s see what the wikipedia has to say about this stuff, eh?
Methanol is poisonous to the central nervous system and may cause blindness, coma, and death.
For the public, chronic exposure to NO2
can cause respiratory effects including airway inflammation in healthy people and increased respiratory symptoms in people with asthma.
Within short time scales, carbon monoxide absorption is cumulative, since the half-life is about 5 hours in fresh air. Carbon monoxide is a toxic (poisonous) gas, but, being colorless, odorless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, it is very difficult for people to detect.
The effects of inhaling particulate matter that have been widely studied in humans and animals include asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, premature delivery, birth defects, and premature death.
In 2011, the US National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen”.
Aaaand the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer says, “There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of wood dust… especially during machine sanding and similar operations.”
note respirator and protective suit
cool or what?
Hot time at NewPro
BC Ambulance, RCMP and other responders attended at NewPro May 21st after a fire and explosion reported by The Interior News here.