Government analysis revealed the quantity of dust floating around Westview Terminal was above provincial guidelines in June.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority is reporting that Westview Terminal’s dust fall monitoring system showed a “modest increase” in the level of dust collected in June compared to April, the last month samples were taken.
In April, third party evaluation showed a number of the dust-fall collection canisters situated around the property were above the objective set by the B.C. Ministry of Environment. The most recent findings from June show that all but one collection canister were over the ministry’s objective, with the remaining canister only being under by a small amount.
The samples showed increases in both organic material, which consists of materials like wood pellet dust, pollen and plant matter, and inorganic matter, including road dust.
“The port authority takes this seriously,” said Michael Gurney, the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s manager of corporate communications, noting the port will intensify discussions with Pinnacle Renewable Energy on what is being done.
“We can correlate this to the types of complaints we’ve received over the last few months,” said Gurney.
Throughout the month of June, the port received 26 complaints about air quality, noise and other issues at Westview Terminal through its community comment forum. While that number is high, it was down significantly from the 74-complaints the port received in May.
May dust levels are unknown, as Pinnacle Renewable Energy states the canisters were stolen from the site. The collectors have been modified since then to prevent this from happening again.
The number of complaints in July declined slightly, with 21 comments relating to air quality, noise and other issues being received. Whether dust fall levels dropped last month is yet to be seen, with the samples currently being evaluated.
In May, Pinnacle Renewable Energy implemented its adaptive management plan to address concerns with Westview Terminal, which has grown to include changes to when and how equipment is used, when noisy work takes place, installation of sound deflecting equipment, requests for quieter vessels and tie-up crews, further training for improvement in operations, watering the roadway and reducing its speed limit.
“The big issue remains noise and we remain committed to getting that under control,” said Vaughan Bassett, senior vice-president of sales and logistics for Pinnacle Renewable Energy.
While dust has been over the B.C. objective, neither noise or particulate matter have surpassed provincial standards since operations began.