Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kamloops to ask ministry to consider appeal of gasification plant approval

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In the coming days, the local Ministry of Environment office can expect a terse communiqué from Kamloops, B.C. politicians, local newspapers report. The letter, sent by city council, will be reaffirming its stand against a proposed gasification plant in Kamloops.

Though it won't be leading an appeal, council will be asking the MOE to consider one, while seeking an answer as to why the project wasn't subject to a federal environmental assessment. It's all part of council's effort to stop the Aboriginal Cogeneration Corporation from building its plant on Mission Flats Road, a facility that will burn creosote rail ties in the city.

Last week, the MOE granted the company an air-discharge permit.

Save Kamloops, a local citizen group, vows to appeal the ministry's decision.

At least one city councilor is asking residents to do their part in keeping the plant out of Kamloops. Coun. Tina Lange is encouraging the entire community to write letters in support of an appeal. Lange suggested senior levels of government would listen when enough people speak out against the project.

With the clock ticking down before the ACC fires up its first gasifier, Lange said she's optimistic the community can impede the project enough so the company will decide to go elsewhere.

As for a federal environmental assessment, the project did not trigger a review. To set off an assessment, a federal authority must be carrying out the specific project or providing financial assistance, or the project must involve federal land.

The ACC received C$2.7 million in funding from the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) foundation. MOE officials contacted the STDC during the application process and were informed projects funded by the organization do not require an environmental assessment.

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