Opponents of an air-quality permit issued to Weir Canada for its South Surrey plant say they will appeal. (File photo)

Appeal of South Surrey rubber-plant’s air-quality permit planned

Opponents have 30 days to file concerns at Environmental Appeal Board

Surrey and Langley residents who voiced concern over an air-quality permit application for a South Surrey rubber plant say news the permit has been granted has not swayed their determination to quash it.

“We’re definitely going to go to the EAB (Environmental Appeal Board) with it,” Frank Mueggenburg told Peace Arch News.

Metro Vancouver last week announced a permit had been issued to Weir Canada on Nov. 9 for its 18933 34A Ave. facility.

The notice went to “all persons who offered comments” on the application. The permit authorizes Weir to discharge air contaminants from nine emission sources, “subject to specified terms and conditions.”

The plant has been a source of community concern since early this year, as word of the air-quality permit application spread.

Initially, Weir projected the plant would have annual emissions of 42 tonnes. Public feedback led to a revised projection of 2.49 tonnes per year, found through a reduction in hours of operation, investing in additional filters and eliminating a burn-off oven.

Mueggenburg, who has maintained from the get-go that only zero emissions is acceptable, said the permit is unclear as to exactly what is going to be discharged.

On some of the sources listed, there is “no measurement whatsoever of what’s coming out,” he said Thursday.

Langley resident Margaret McDonald – who, with South Surrey resident Murray McFadden, presented her concerns to Surrey’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee earlier this month – said she, too, will appeal to the EAB.

“I’m absolutely shocked they let it go through,” she told PAN Monday.

The permit, she added, “opens the door now for all industry to come in.”

McFadden noted the 2.49 tonnes of allowed emissions includes 1.78 tonnes of “volatile organic compounds” and .44 tonnes of “hazardous air pollutant substances.”

However, Metro Vancouver media relations manager Don Bradley confirmed Monday that, according to Metro’s regulation and enforcement manager Ray Robb, the emissions contain fewer harmful air contaminants than those emitted by a single wood-burning fireplace.

Weir Canada officials did not respond to a request for comment by PAN’s press deadline Tuesday, however, general manager Ricky Nolan told PAN last spring that the plant “will operate within the air quality objective levels as established by Metro Vancouver.”

Opponents have 30 days to appeal.

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