Prince Rupert Port Authority must appease impacted residents

I would like to reply to the letter sent to my home by Don Krusel of the port of Prince Rupert regarding the Pinnacle Pellet Plant.

Editor:

I would like to reply to the letter sent to my home by Don Krusel of the port of Prince Rupert regarding the Pinnacle Pellet Plant and concerns it has generated.

As someone who has experienced the problems, I would point out that some of us feel perturbed and misled due to the promises that were made when the project was presented to the public.

In fact, I was all in favour of what was proposed in the beginning. I was praying the principals of this operation use their best judgement and compassion when they chose to put a large industrial facility in the middle of what has been one of the nicest neighbourhoods in our city.

Unfortunately, since they started operations it has become clear they do not feel it necessary to comply with even the basic municipal by-laws, let alone comply with what was promised in the initial presentation. I was away when this occurred so I can only speak from what I was told by friends and neighbours.

As I understand, there was no real consultation or choice for residents. As a matter of sound judgement it may have been a better idea for the port and Pinnacle to get feedback before charging ahead. Fair minded people ask before they act and don’t make promises they know they can’t keep.

Yes, we do want to be open to new business and expansion. Yes, we believe our city can use more jobs and taxpayers to pay for infrastructure.

Yes, we understand certain sacrifices will need to be made in order for these to come to fruition, but there are things that can be done without ramming major projects down our throats.

Mr. Krusel offers the following in his Jan. 27 letter:

“Commissioning entails verifying, inspecting and testing elements of a new facility.” It follows to say “adjustments are necessary- and expected- after the new equipment has been installed.”

Mr. Krusel and others involved in may not live in Prince Rupert and may not have witnessed the results of the first loading attempts, but they were unreasonably loud, annoying, and long.

They can install all the monitoring equipment they deem necessary but what will be done when things go wrong?

It has been noted that the equipment for noise measurement is at the base of the towers but sound travels out, not necessarily straight down! This could lead to a completely acceptable report if someone reads the numbers in their office.

The position taken by Mr. Krusel is “this is good news for economies along Prince Rupert’s trade corridor- and Prince Rupert itself”.

I would ask what good news is it for the property owners who have suffered a drop in the value of their homes due to this project? Some have potentially lost tens of thousands of dollars in property value for what is described as “good news”.

It is now too late to reconsider the decision of the PRPA, but they should make an honest effort to appease the folks who have been victim of the pit falls of this project.

Please see to it that once this venture is completed we don’t regret our choice to trust the people who are making the decisions that affect our lives to such a great extent.

D. Harris

Prince Rupert