Tolko rolling out plans to fix soot storm
SPALLUMCHEEN — Residents of Palisades mobile park home in Spallumcheen say on windy days, they feel like prisoners in their homes. The residents live near Tolko mill’s co-generation plant and the business puts its ash pile close to the homes.
“I probably wouldn’t be that upset if we moved into the industrial park and that’s the way it always been. But we were here before they built the co-generation plant and started to dump soot 200 feet away from my property,” says resident James Streeter.
Residents say whenever the wind picks up, some of this ash gets blown over to the trailer park, blanketing the homes with soot.
The Ministry of Environment has directed Tolko to submit an action plan that will permanently address the issue.
Don Hanson, Tolko’s communications manager, says the company has hired consultants to evaluate a few different plans.
Hanson says one possible solution is weighing down the mountain of ash with dirt and other byproducts to control the amount of dust flying into the mobile home park.
“The company we’re bringing in is possibly looking into spraying some mitigation formula on [the ash pile] as well,” says Hanson.
He says those are possible quick fixes.
In the long term, Tolko is looking into finding concrete companies that would be interested in using the ash during the concrete fabrication process.
Hanson says there are possible agricultural uses, adding Tolko may be working with farmers.
He says the consultants are coming to the site this week and some of the short-term solutions may take in effect in as little as a few days.