The union representing workers at Rio Tinto’s Kitimat aluminum smelter hosted a town hall meeting on pollution Saturday.
UNIFOR billed the meeting as a chance for residents to gather more information about smelter emissions with a focus on the 56 percent increase in sulphur dioxide emissions from the modernized smelter.
Lawyers Jason Gratl and Chris Tollefson provided an overview of the upcoming appeal of the Environmental Effects Monitoring Plan which is key to the permit amendment allowing increased in SO2 levels.
Tollefson says the case essentially boils down to the question of ‘does our system allow government to make a decision that puts people in harm’s way against their will?’.
Tollefson says the appeal is slated to be heard in May, 2019
Local 2301 President Sean O’Driscoll says Rio Tinto was invited and initially said it was interested in participating in the information session, but later opted out.
The town hall also heard from Greg Knox of SkeenaWild about the impacts of sulphur dioxide and potential solutions to cut SO2 emissions as well as UNIFOR.