An integrated part of the OSB process is the inclusion of formaldehyde, which acts as an adhesive, helping to blend the wood and compact it into an industrial standard plank.

Environmental Manager of Peace Valley OSB, Lindsay Sahaydak says the company wants to replace formaldehyde with MDI, commonly known as polyurethane; an element she says will have an overall lower impact on both the manufacturing process and particulate matter.

“We do maintain really good compliance on that stack as far as particulate formaldehyde goes, but this will allow us to go with the whole continuous improvement concept where we’re emitting less all of the time,” Sahaydak explained.

The MOE has already allowed a test of MDI inside the facility, illustrating a positive outcome when associated with hygiene testing, air quality control, and stack testing.

The plant also uses an advanced vacuum system which filters both the particulate matter and smoke, redistributing the fumes and minimizing the harmful attributes.

Sahaydak says 90 per cent of the OSB industry currently uses MDI either partially or entirely.

Some common uses for MDI include insulation inside refrigerators, gluing soles into shoes, manufacturing plastic for the automotive industry, gorilla glue and spray foam insulation. 

The EAO is seemingly on board with the transfer and Sahaydak says the next step is public consultation, which will come in the form of an open house, anticipated to be held sometime in September at the North Peace Cultural Centre. At this point, the community will have an opportunity to participate in a question and answer period with industry experts.

Sahaydak says the company is also planning the production of an online virtual open house, allowing those who are unable to attend the event in September a chance for public review and comments.