Tolko soot irks neighbours

October 13, 2016

By: Castanet

Another event at Kelowna’s Tolko mill Tuesday night has some neighbours in the area up in arms.

Dr. Charles Lund, who lives in the area, said soot from the mill blanketed the neighbourhood.

It was so bad, he said they had to water down their patio furniture. Cars in the area were also covered with a dusting of the black particles.

Lund said this is the third such event in the last several months.

“We’ve had a period of fairly clean air for some weeks now, however, last night, there was a tremendous noise coming from the plant,” said Lund.

“This morning, everything was covered in large, particulate soot.”

Lund, an anesthesiologist, said the soot can be dangerous to those people breathing it in.

“I do understand that Tolko has to do what they have to do, but they do need to have some sort system to prevent these emissions, which are unbelievably harmful to people’s health.

“Breathing in this large, particulate soot, is horrendously dangerous. Nobody knows when it’s going to happen.”

He said he has spoken with the Ministry of Environment, and was told air quality around the mill has been tested six times over the last three years, and on one occasion they were non-compliant, and there was a lot of soot in the air.

The event Tuesday night is similar to a situation earlier this year when soot rained down on boats moored at the Kelowna Yacht Club.

At that time, Tolko admitted they were working to mitigate the problem.

In 2007, the company spent $2 million to replace the combustion control system.

It was designed to significantly reduce the amount of emissions coming from the plant.

Attempts to contact Tolko concerning Tuesday’s event were unsuccessful.

By: Castanet

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