LETTERS | Submission to Minister of Environment: Re Railway Ties Burning in Williams Lake

 

Good Day,

My name is Angie Delainey and I was born and raised in Williams Lake and where my family has owned and operated a business in the downtown core for over 45 years.

I have two small children ages 2.5 and 6, one of which attends the Nesika Elementary School located in the valley near Atlantic Power’s cogeneration plant.

I’m writing on behalf of my children since they are not old enough to advocate for themselves.

Currently, Williams Lake’s air shed is at an 80% saturated state for 2.5ppm. If AP’s permit to burn up to 50% rail ties is granted, the valley that we live in will become a science experiment with one outdated monitoring station (located at Columneetza Secondary School Campus) that does not monitor VOC emissions. There are no provincial regulations (only guidelines) on emissions, an overflowing ash landfill (AP has no plan for a new one in its application, not to mention the current ash land fill is approaching full and potentially sloughing into the Fraser River), and the risk of accumulative effects of fine particulate (there is not enough science or data to take measurements).

Science tells us that VOCs will become a by-product of burning ties and in turn the become a part of our air shed, which experiences inversions from September through to May, and the VOCs will be present in the bottom ash. It is my understanding that the VOCs will be below provincial guidelines, which to me is basically saying it’s okay to poison people a little bit. This is unacceptable. Not only will we be playing God and making decisions for future generations, but we are also risking the health of every plant and animal. As the old saying goes, shit flows downstream and that is exactly where the VOCs will go—into the soils and watershed, not to mention into the air.

This application, if approved, will become a major stain on our community. Williams Lake will not be able to attract new doctors, new families or retirees, or business if we become the rail tie burning capital of Western Canada.

It’s up to you, Minister of Environment, to protect our air shed and in doing so you will protect our community and the citizens who live here.

There is no reason for AP to burn ties. We have more jobs available in the forestry sector if we transport the HOG fuel and road side wood waste. There are several other facilities that are already burning ties.

My plea is for you to consider our children and the future generations—please do not let us become guinea pigs for this project; say no and make CN rail accountable for their ties. Other rail tie companies have plans in place as best business practices to take care of their ties from birth to death. It should never be a single community’s problem to deal with old rail ties, especially communities residing in valley’s such as Kamloops, Salmon Arm, and Prince George where permission to burn rail ties has already been denied.

Sincerely,

 

Angie Delainey – Citizen of Williams Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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