Domtar will set up odour-tracking equipment

Domtar is looking to set up odour-tracking equipment of its own in Kamloops

By Andrea Klassen

Kamloops This Week

With the future location of one of the province’s two air-quality monitoring stations still undecided, Domtar is looking to set up odour-tracking equipment of its own on the North Shore.

Domtar environment manager Kristin Dangelmaier said the company is in talks with a resident near McArthur Island about installing the equipment, which would track total reduced sulphur — the odour-causing component of the pulp mill’s emissions.

Dangelmaier said the station would provide the company with more data to back up its belief that the closure of one of its lines last year dramatically reduced bad smells from the mill.

“Historically, when you look at where odour has been noted and concerns have come from, it’s definitely been the North Shore,” she said.

The Ministry of Environment has until recently monitored air quality from Brocklehurst, but was forced to move the station on short notice when the city sold the land it was using to the developer of the Riverbend seniors’ housing complex.

A spokesman for the ministry said some monitoring equipment from the North Shore site was transferred to the Brocklehurst fire station, but the ministry has had difficulty finding a new home that meets its requirements for the station.

Since October 2013, the ministry has used its downtown location on top of the Kamloops Federal building as its primary monitoring centre.

“The secondary station is being moved to another location in Kamloops,” the spokesman said.

“The ministry is actively seeking a new site and hopes to have the station installed and operating this spring.”

Dangelmaier was at Kamloops City Hall on Tuesday, April 1, as part of the mill’s annual update to city council on its emissions-reduction efforts.

She told council complaints about odours from the mill are at about 75 per cent of what they were before the company closed its A-line last year, noting total reduced sulphur emissions from the mill were the lowest recorded in seven years.

Coun. Donovan Cavers said community group Kamloops Moms for Clean Air has asked for the mill to post hourly emissions information on its website and wanted to know if Domtar would agree to the proposal.

Dangelmaier said air-quality information is already available to the public online at BCairquality.com.

The website posts information from the government’s monitoring stations, which she said would be more valuable to the public than readings taken only at the mill.

“It’s informing the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, here’s our air quality,” Dangelmaier said.

“And it’s available at the click of a button.”