10 concerned citizens spoke to the crowd, all opposed to the use of MDI, short for methlyne diphenyl diiocyanate, as well as PRRD Area C Director Arthur Hadland. Their issues with the use of the chemical range from concern about possible health issues they've heard of from other communities in the past, to a distrust of mill owner Louisiana Pacific. Several speakers, including resident Denise Babiy, maintain that they were told 12 years ago that MDI would not be used at the mill, and feel the company has been dishonest with them ever since.
"I don't feel this company is trustworthy, and the thought of them being permitted to use MDI scares me immensely," she says. "They never do what they promise to; that is exactly why we are here."
Several others also expressed concern about only two of six air monitoring stations being used, and that testing by the Ministry is only done quarterly, with advanced notice given to the mill. Two neighbouring properties have also had issues with flooding on their land, and aren't satisfied with the way those situations were handled, with one land owner, Dixie Modde saying she was told "they'd rather deal with the Ministry [of Environment] than the land owners". Greg Hammond says after Peace Valley OSB denied any damage was done to his land after multiple spills, he believes residents like himself will be left to defend themselves.
"You wonder why people in this town sitting right here, right now, don't trust you to use a chemical like MDI when you can't even look after your discharge ponds?," he asks. "I'm sorry, but you don't deserve that consideration from these people in this room in my opinion."
Meeting organizer Sandra Cushway, who has done substantial research since the first meeting, said one of her primary concerns is that since B.C. does not currently have emission standards for MDI, they are suggesting a rate that compares to other provinces'. She argues that when Louisiana pacific has done modelling for projects in the past, mentioning an OSB in Swan River, Manitoba, they've been way off base.
"If history repeats itself, this modelling based on LP numbers is not good for us," she says. "I just don't think it's reliable modelling if LP provides the numbers, not based on history anyway," she says.
At the end of the meeting, she called for the Ministry of Environment to deny PVOSB's application, insist it use the best pollution controls available, and require third-party, random, unannounced stacking testing. All of the comments made at last night's meeting were recorded and will be accepted by the Ministry as part of the application process.
Peace Valley OSB is also holding an open house and question and answer period with MDI experts tonight at the North Peace Cultural Centre from 6 to 9 p.m.