A great deal is at stake regarding Rio Tinto Alcan’s proposed sulphur dioxide (S02) increase as part of its modernization of its Kitimat aluminum smelter.
The company is proposing to increase its emissions from 27 tonnes per day to 42 tonnes per day, setting the stage for an entirely different level of livability in the Terrace-Kitimat corridor.
We are thankful Rio Tinto is modernizing and providing the area with steady employment. We are simply asking the company to do it right and install scrubbers to remove the SO2. If they fail to do this, given slated closures of older, outdated aluminum smelters in Quebec, Rio Tinto’s newly modernized Kitimat plant will become the highest SO2 emitting aluminum smelter in the country!
I personally believe the public needs to know what is at stake. To date, the BC government and Rio Tinto Alcan have worked hard and have spent millions attempting to convince the public that this SO2 increase will not negatively affect our health or the environment.
A more balanced picture that is concerned about the adverse effects of this increase and the precedent it sets, will only come out in events like the upcoming, protracted Environmental Appeal Board hearing taking place in Victoria from October 6th through the October 17th and in Kitimat from October 20th through the October 31st.
This appeal will not go unnoticed, for it is one of the most lengthy and complicated appeals in the history of the BC environmental appeal board. The rest of BC and Canada will notice and become informed.