Cantimber Biotech should complete a list of recommendations before it can resume operation on Port Alberni’s harbour front, a study by Golder and Associates suggests.
Cantimber underwent stack testing at the facility, near the corner of Harbour Road and Bruce Street, under supervision from third-party consulting group Golder and Associates, to check for potential chemicals in the volatile organic compounds (VOC) and to monitor emissions inside the building during full operation.
A warmup procedure began on Nov. 3 and operations ran until Nov. 10.
Ambient monitoring was undertaken during the stack testing by monitoring the wind in the vicinity of the Cantimber facility and at two locations within the adjacent residential area. In addition, ambient daily particulate monitoring on Second Avenue was conducted and periodic observations within the neighbourhood done during the stack testing to assess conditions and possible odours.
During testing, according to Golder, it was discovered sump water containment in part of the process called the scrubber “may not be adequate, particularly during periods of significant rainfall,” allowing extra particulate into the air.
Golder noted in its report that a new containment system is in the process of being installed that would allow Cantimber to collect scrubber sump discharges and dispose of them off-site.
For ambient monitoring data, a meteorological or weather station located at Alberni Elementary School was used.
A 146-page report from the evaluation is now available on the Port Alberni Port Authority’s (PAPA) website.
The report states that the Cantimber facility ceased operations at the request of PAPA in June 2016, and was not operational prior to the November stack test period. The facility was shut down after the stack test, and cannot commence operations until Jan. 10.
From a list of 21 recommendations, 11 are suggested to be completed before Cantimber begins operations in January.
Among the recommendations relating to ambient monitoring it was suggested that a weather station be installed close to the facility, as the station located at Alberni Elementary is too far away for readings to be effective.
In addition it is suggested that the current license requirements for continuous ambient monitoring should be updated.
The report also suggested monitoring for carbon monoxide (CO) inside the facility, and developing procedures to reduce the risk of worker exposure.
This could include both worker related monitoring and monitoring of ambient gas levels with audible alarms at the facility and should comply to WorkSafe BC requirements.
Also included is the assertion that woodchips used as a fuel source cannot have been exposed to salt water, as they could potentially emit dioxins into the air.
Golder also noted that Cantimber should formalize its system of investigation and response to complaints.