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If tax rates for industries lowered, some savings should go to cutting pollution

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 5.07.19 PMLETTERKamloops Moms For Clean Air very proudly submitted the following letter and supplementary visual attachments to City Council to be read today during the “correspondence” portion of the City Council meeting. 

We are learning a lot, and we hope that, very humbly, we are making requests that make sense.  If the City decides to give Domtar, Lafarge and Tolko tax concessions as a part of the 2014 City Budget plan (a decision they will be making at their March 25 City Council meeting) then KMFCA would like to see some of the savings to these industries appear in the form of pollution prevention/reduction plans which should be reported annually to the city. 

In the case of Domtar, we hope that the inclusion of hourly rate dispersion of their emissions in their annual report to the city will make them accountable not only for showing their PM2.5 reductions, but also the rate at which concentrations are released in appropriate timeframes for human health.

We are happy to be able to ask the City for something that will benefit all the people in Kamloops, and especially, Kamloops children.  

GINA MORRIS

Kamloops Moms For Clean Air

To Mayor Peter Milobar and  Kamloops City Councillors:

Kamloops Mom for Clean Air would like to inquire whether or not, if City Council decides to grant tax concessions in the 2014 City Budget plan as requested by the Major Industrial Tax Base Group (Domtar, Lafarge and Tolko), it could make these concessions contingent upon the following:

1)  Continued reductions of PM2.5 pollution to meet established targets for 2016.  This requirement could be made per square area of city land such that Tolko and LaFarge are not affected, or are affected in a negligible way.

2)  The publication of hourly dispersion rates of PM2.5.  This information would allow citizens of the community to see emissions during peak periods of outdoor activity.  As of 2007, Alberta pulp mills have had a “one hour air quality objective” in place.  We would like to see, through the city annual report, that Domtar has a plan for a one hour air quality objective, if they do not already have one in place.

3)  That members of the Industrial Tax Base Group submit annual reports to the City of Kamloops of their total PM2.5 releases, as well as their pollution prevention activities.  At present, Domtar already does this.  However, the remaining industries do not. According to the 2012 Environment Canada National Pollutant Inventory, Lafarge Canada Kamloops Plant is one of the top 30 polluters of PM2.5 in all of B.C.  As well, Lafarge did not provide comment on their “Pollution Prevention Activities”. KMFCA ask that tax concessions for Tolko and Lafarge be tied to monitoring their PM2.5 emissions, with a clear plan for reductions over time.

KMFCA congratulate Domtar on their continued effort in reducing PM2.5 emissions (a 59 percent reduction since 2009). Domtar is asking to be closer to the average industrial tax rate as other pulp mills in our province.  KMFCA would simply like to have the tax break tied to emitting closer to the tonnage of the “average pulp mill in B.C.” Domtar is improving its emissions, but let’s ensure that it continues its improvements.

The Major Industrial Tax Base Group’s request for tax concessions in the 2014-15 budget represents an important opportunity for the City of Kamloops to protect its citizens, including its 15,000 children.  Since 2002, Kamloops has been subject to one of the heaviest burdens of industrial PM2.5 air pollutions in our province.  We encourage Council to provide Kamloops with the simple tools required to ensure our safety.

KAMLOOPS MOMS FOR CLEAN AIR

About Mel Rothenburger (8047 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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