A Supreme Court of BC judge has sided with Unifor in a ruling calling for a reassessment of Rio Tinto Alcan’s smelter upgrade.
The ruling calls into question the Ministry of Transportation’s approval of the smelter’s expansion without the use of sulfur dioxide scrubbers, and will now be sent back to the Environmental Assessment Board.
The ruling means the board will have to reassess the impact of sulfur dixoide on people.
The project will increase SO2 emissions from 27 tonnes per day to 42 tonnes per day.
A statement issued by Unifor, says airborne sulphur dioxide is a well-known cause of respiratory ailments.
It adds that excessive SO2 levels in Kitimat are likely already impacting human health, and that a study published by Northern Health concluded that the incidence of death from bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma is 60 per cent higher in Kitimat than the British Columbian average.