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Industrial Emissions threaten respiratory illness

Recently a letter was addressed to Minister Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change asking why and how is it possible pollution is permitted.

We’re awaiting a response.

A Smithereen on Railway Ave has a great view of Pinnacle Pellet on her way to and from home. Her home like all of Smithers – its in the direct line of fire from the plant so residents are exposed to high levels of particulate, VOC’s and other noxious fumes. Emissions aren’t just coming from the chimney stacks but the yard is yet to be paved to reduce emissions and other processes that use belts and motors continue to produce pollution, harmful to our health.

As it turns out there is no regulatory requirement for the permitted industry to shut down when air quality advisories are issued. This exception doesn’t apply to residents who can’t burn their wood stoves (unless it’s their only source of heat) or foresters and burn operators who can’t (and don’t by choice) burn slash when there exists poor venting or air quality advisories.

With the risk of covid 19 and respiratory illness you would think industry like Pinnacle would be required to shut down at least while we have people locked in. Here is a chart of particlate size and source. Anything around the 10 micron size is going to settle in your airway and cause upper airway nose, and throat irritation and inflammation.

Smaller particles tend to move further down the airway and settle in our lungs. For more on the health effects of particulate and gases check out this link: https://www.who.int/airpollution/news-and-events/how-air-pollution-is-destroying-our-health

Erin kinda knows what to do but what else would I recommend?
1. installing a home air filter, a hepa filter works great taking out particles down to a size of .3 microns. A MERVE 13 filter will also reduce small particle size in a room see our previous blog entry on how to make these
2. look for a citizen science monitor near you – there is one on railway…

https://www.purpleair.com/map?opt=1/lt/mPM25/a60/cC0#15.49/54.770245/-127.166059
3. call the RAPP line to report the pollution – its the only complaints based pollution help line we’ve got: (RAPP) 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network, https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/natural-resource-law-enforcement/conservation-officer-service/cos-rapp
4. contact the NHA for a response, perhaps we need a medical health officer to intervene
5. document your experience with pictures and logs of contact between you and the neighbour, town etc.

I’m told there is no regulatory law that can shut down operations, they have complied with what the province has asked. The only way to get them to step polluting is a civil suit for damages here is the environmental law office of choice:

https://www.wcel.org/publication/health-risk-assessment-air-emissions

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