NEWS — Domtar is reviewing procedures in the wake of last week’s foul smell that spilled out of the mill and sailed east down the valley, resulting in dozens of calls from concerned residents to Kamloops Fire and Rescue.
Kristin Dangelmaier, environmental manager for Domtar, told City council today current protocol includes calling Kamloops Fire and Rescue when emissions result in a significant odour.
She said the mill was just about to call the fire hall when Fire and Rescue was on the phone calling the mill to find out what was going on. Domtar is looking into possible changes to procedures to avoid re-occurrences, she said.
Officials said last week the smell occurred when there was an unscheduled release of NCG or non-consenable gas.
“When is the end coming when you won’t be able to reduce it anymore?” asked Coun. Tiny Lange of efforts to cut down on the odour.
“There really is no end game,” replied Dangelmaier, adding it’s an ongoing issue. “You’re always looking for ways to improve.”
Coun. Donovan Cavers wanted to know why complaints seem to be increasing. “Why are we still having so many complaints about smells?”
But Dangelmaier said complaints have actually gone done in the past year, explaining that “odour is a relative parameter.” If there aren’t many other smells in the air at a given time, any odour from the mill will be more noticeable, she said.
Coun. Arjun Singh said it’s generally thought emissions have a health impact on people, but there’s also a social impact, he said. “How can we work together to reduce that impact?” Singh asked.
“At this time the technology does not exist to make the facility odour free,” said Dangelmaier but said the mill continues to reduce it as much as possible.