West Coast Reduction – Something in the Air?

Local company wants a 15 year permit

West Coast Reduction (WCR), the company responsible for sometimes making our east Vancouver air stink, is asking for a new permit from the District of Metro Vancouver. If approved, this permit will be in place until 2036.

Under the proposed permit, the WCR plant at 105 North Commercial Drive will add more odour control air scrubbers while at the same time increasing the amount of emissions it can release.

Does this mean we’ll have more stink for 15 years?

It’s hard to say. The only information provided by Metro Vancouver is in an Environmental Protection Notice (EPN) published earlier this month.

It says that WCR wants to increase its total emissions by 24 tonnes, from 102.234 to 126.257 tonnes per year.

The company claims on its website that it wants the new permit in order to extend the operating hours at its refinery to “support renewable fuel production, reduce carbon emissions and petroleum use, and improve air quality” and that its “refining activity is not a source of odour and is completely separate from its animal by-products rendering.”

West Coast Reduction also points to its many years of recycling food waste from farms, restaurants and supermarkets and keeping this waste out of the landfill.

It’s hard to love West Coast Reduction when the eye-watering stench forces us indoors on a nice summer day. But we can’t make an informed decision from the meagre information provided by an Environmental Protection Notice and a few soothing words on the company’s website.

Public Meeting

What’s needed is a public meeting where we can ask questions and get answers directly from West Coast Reduction. Under BC’s Environmental Management Act, the Metro Vancouver District Director in charge of the process can direct West Coast Reduction to hold a meeting.

Please take a moment and express your concerns about WCR’s permit application and ask for a public meeting. You could object to the length of the permit (2036), the difficulty in understanding the emission information or the lack of information about the new odour scrubbers: are they the best quality available?

There is also the question of what impact the increased emissions will have on Vancouver’s “Greenest City” plan and if a crowded urban location is the best place for West Coast Reduction’s operation.

When you email Metro Vancouver you become an official “Concerned Person” and will be notified by the regional district about WCR’s application.

You can ask for a public meeting and add your comments by emailing WestCoastReductionComments@metrovancouver.org.

Please get you comments in by 6 March 2021.

Now…take a deep breath….

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