Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth gave an earful to representitives of the BC environment ministry during Monday night’s council meeting.
The ministry’s Clean Air division was laying out its plans for a sulphur dioxide monitoring system which will evenutally provide automated alerts to Kitimat residents when SO2 emissions from Rio Tinto’s modernized aluminum smelter reach certain health impact benchmarks.
But Germuth says his community feels like the ministry is using them for a science experiment rather than forcing Rio Tinto to use scrubbers to cut SO2 emissions.
Natalie Suzuki with the ministry’s Environmental Standards branch says it’s hoped that the SO2 alert system will be up and running by mid January, 2018.
Germuth says Kitimat residents don’t want monitors, they want their environment ministry to protect human health and the environment just as countries like Norway and Qatar do by using SO2 scrubbers on their industrial emitters.