Tracy Holmes photo Frank Mueggenburg addresses Environmental Appeal Board panelists Monday, during opening statements regarding an air-quality permit issued to Ebco Metal Finishing LLP.

Many ‘dropped the ball’ on South Surrey galvanizing plant permissions: appellant

Hearing regarding South Surrey galvanizing-plant emissions underway

A hearing into concerns over an air-quality permit issued to a galvanizing plant in South Surrey got underway Monday morning before the Environmental Appeal Board.

Taking place at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel, the proceedings involve Ebco Metal Finishing LLP and Metro Vancouver.

READ MORE: Environmental Appeal Board to hear South Surrey emission concerns

Nearly a dozen appellants are expected to address the three-member panel over the course of the hearing, including representatives of Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club, Nicomekl Enhancement Society and the Little Campbell Watershed Society, as well as neighbours of the Campbell Heights industrial-park business.

Prior to opening statements, the panel chair advised appellants that a decision would be based solely on submitted evidence, not on broader perspectives that appellants may choose to share.

Speaking as a director of the fish and game club, Bill Ridge showed the panel a video detailing the club’s extensive environmental activities and said “one of the things that scares us” about the galvanizing plant is the potential impact of emissions on the water at the 1284 184 St. hatchery, which is located south of the 18699 25 Ave. plant.

“If there’s any overflow from the Ebco thing, it comes on top of us,” Ridge said.

City council approved a bylaw regulating the 25 Avenue site for “light impact industry” in November 2012, following a public hearing, and a development permit was issued in July 2014.

Area residents first contacted Peace Arch News about the plant in early 2015, citing concerns about such a facility being built so close to East Kensington Elementary, as well as with the lack of public notice around it.

Later that year, they described estimated emissions from the plant – six tonnes per year – as “frightening… a major concern for the community.”

Ebco officials have rejected the criticisms as “scare tactics,” maintaining that the company was “conforming to all the laws.”

Metro Vancouver issued the company a permit to discharge air contaminants a year ago, effective until Feb. 28, 2033.

Monday, Phillip Milligan, past-president of the Little Campbell Watershed Society, referenced early assurances from the City of Surrey that no business requiring such a permit would be allowed in the area, and said the society wants “to see the plant reformatted into a plant that has zero emissions, or alternatively, just be shut down.”

Frank Mueggenburg, whose property is immediately south of the galvanizing plant, said he’d had no concerns until he learned that “there was a new plan” for what had been initially proposed as a warehouse.

“I think a lot of people dropped the ball on this particular development,” he said.

A lawyer for Ebco, prior to opening statements, cited concerns with certain documents that had been requested by the appellants – including copies of complaints that have been submitted to Metro Vancouver regarding the plant – describing them as containing “lots of material that, frankly, will be be admissible… for truth of content.”

The panel deferred a decision on the request, noting “we’d like to sort of hear where the cases are going,” before making a decision.

The hearing is scheduled for 10 days.

Just Posted

Health minister hints that location for new Surrey hospital has been found

Minister Adrian Dix says an announcement can be expected before the end of the year

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak at Surrey environment, business awards luncheon today

His anti-vaxxer stance has caused controversy, but SBOT says he’s here to speak about environment

Fans of ‘Outlander’ TV show make Surrey the site for annual three-day convention

‘Outlandish Vancouver’ planners were first drawn here to meet fantasy-romance novelist Diana Gabaldon

COLUMN: Conquering your fear is easier when it’s for charity

Surrey drop zone event benefits Easter Seals, which helps support people living with disabilities

VIDEO: Prosecutors to consider charges in human-caused 2017 B.C. wildfire

RCMP forwards results of its investigation into Elephant Hill fire to Crown counsel

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Petition to rename park after teen overdose victim to get hearing

With 3,500 signatures so far, organizer is thinking of closing down online campaign

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

Winnipeg student, killed in bus crash, remembered as passionate, kind

University of Victoria student Emma Machado, 18, was killed in the bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Most Read