LAFARGE – Council takes no action on request for deadline support

Lafarge officials talk to residents at meeting in April. (Image: File photo)

Kamloops City council took no action today (May 15, 2018) on a request to support changes to an application from Lafarge for new air emissions.

Doug Mears and Gina Morris appeared at the council meeting asking council to back an extension on public input on the application to Oct. 31, and that Lafarge be required to get a new permit instead of amending its current one.

They spoke on behalf of the Citizens for Compliance committee formed by residents living near Lafarge, as well as the Kamloops Area Preservation Association and the Kamloops Moms for Clean Air.

But Mayor Ken Christian pointed out the public-input deadline has already been extended to May 31 at council’s request, and suggested residents take their proposal directly to the Ministry of Environment.

He said the difference between a new permit and an amendment to the existing permit is “a technical decision” in which the City has no say.

Lafarge wants to produce gypsum and pumice flour at the plant.

Residents are concerned about fugitive dust and other possible pollution and contend the current deadline won’t allow enough time to collect and analyze data.

They say a new permit would require a more rigorous process than an amendment.

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2 Comments on LAFARGE – Council takes no action on request for deadline support

  1. Donald Barz // May 18, 2018 at 9:31 AM // Reply

    The City of Kamloops does have a say in the Lafarge permit review because the City has an airshed management plan and an airshed advisory committee, and it is a requirement by the Ministry of Environment for Lafarge to engage the airshed committee in the consultation process for the permit. The problem is the technical report for the permit has not been submitted by Lafarge yet, but the deadline for comments is May 31. This is the reason why a delegation went to City Council asking for their support for a comment period extension to give the public and the City ample time to review the contents. The comment period deadline should be set for several weeks after the technical report is available. Mayor Christian seemed to be unaware of this situation. If he had been, I am sure he would have agreed that an extension request is appropriate, and that the City does have a major role to play in the review of this permit.

  2. Bronwen Scott // May 16, 2018 at 9:15 AM // Reply

    Lafarge held one public meeting regarding its proposed new process but did not take notes regarding residents’ concerns at the meeting. The list of concerns and questions that the Lafarge representatives put together by memory and distributed to individuals is incomplete and, more importantly, answers to the questions have not been offered, so individuals and groups are unable to properly respond to this Application by the May 31 deadline. Neighbours and others are particularly concerned because Lafarge Canada Inc.’s Kamloops plant has a history of non-compliance with its existing permit issued under the Environmental Management Act (at the April 5 meeting, Lafarge representatives said that permit exceedances in Lafarge’s final year of operation were ‘too many to count’). 😦

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