Joanna Tucker and her father Frank Mueggenburg are among South Surrey and Langley residents who had expressed concerns with emissions proposed to be discharged from Weir Canada’s Campbell Heights facility. (File photo)

Air-quality permit OK’d for South Surrey rubber plant

Weir Canada’s request to discharge contaminants from Campbell Heights facility approved

Metro Vancouver has issued an air-quality permit to Weir Canada for its South Surrey rubber plant, located at 18933 34A Ave.

The news was shared Wednesday morning with people who had provided comment on the application; those planning to appeal have 30 days to file written notices to the Environmental Appeal Board.

The permit – issued Nov. 9, with an expiry date of Oct. 29, 2032 – authorizes Weir to discharge air contaminants from the facility, “subject to the specified terms and conditions.”

It lists nine emission sources, including welding stations, a grit blast booth, a rubber buffing room and a urethane adhesive booth.

The plant has been a source of community concern since early this year, as word of the air-quality permit application spread.

Initially, Weir projected the plant would have annual emissions of 42 tonnes. Public feedback led to a revised projection of 2.49 tonnes per year, found through a reduction in hours of operation, investing in additional filters and eliminating a burn-off oven.

Opponents have maintained the only acceptable level of emissions is zero.

“My children are going to be breathing whatever these particulates are,” area resident Joanna Tucker told Peace Arch News in March.

“We have our kids playing in puddles. Who knows what it’s going to do to the quality of that?”

At that time, Weir general manager Ricky Nolan told PAN by email that the plant “will operate within the air quality objective levels as established by Metro Vancouver.”

At a community meeting hosted by Weir Canada at East Kensington Elementary last April, the company’s Richard Stephenson told attendees the Campbell Heights site is a consolidation of two facilities previously located in Richmond and Delta.

It mainly manufactures rubber-lined steel pipes, uses pre-purchased rubber, and does not manufacturer any rubber of their own, Stephenson explained.

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