Pollution blame laid at governments’ door

Dear sir,

Dear sir,

The latest Hotline, Nov/Dec. 2010, the Alcan Union’s paper promoted in one article that Alcan’s employees should not oppose the Northern Gateway project because they themselves work for a polluting industry.

All industrial, indeed all human activities, produce pollution but there are some distinct differences.

Some industries produce large quantities of jobs and real wealth, wealth you can raise a family on, save and help to provide a pension.

Best of all they are sustainable and continually improved to reduce pollution.

Other industries merely export our resources along with jobs, even consume tax revenue produced by wealth creation.

As for Alcan, in the early days they surely polluted, but they had some smart, dedicated people, management with a conscience and a motivated workforce.

They progressively eliminated a very great amount of pollution.

Dry scrubbers recycled fluoride – eventually 96 per cent – which was no longer discharged along with hydro carbons into the fjord.

Actually, the old wet scrubbers were dismantled – almost no hydro carbons into the water.

Next came dry anodes which greatly reduced roof emissions. One could rarely see discernible amounts of visible fume from the buildings.

Then came point breaker feeders which reduced the frequency in which pots come on light and therefore further reducing emissions.

This project was cancelled. Why?

The new carbon plant received a water recycling facility, further reducing hydro carbon materials being discharged.

Nothing but progress to this point.

But then things regressed. Promotions into management positions of people who seemed to know little about the process but were interested in writing irrelevant reports and merely promoting themselves.

Local management succumbing to corporate pressure to place profit above anything else and hiding behind safety concerns.

The coke calciner output was increased from 10.5 tons – it was designed for to 14 tons plus. Emissions increased along with other problems.

Pot operations were no longer monitored closely enough. Holes in the bottom of anodes raised iron content among other problems.

Then came the clincher. Raising the pot voltage to increase cell production. This raised the pot temperature resulting in many pots being left “open”. The scrubbers would no longer operate efficiently and pot exhaust fumes were vented to a great deal through the roofs again.

The result was a doubling of roof emissions.

However, the tools to pressure industries, when needed, were removed as senior government handed over controls of resources to corporations: power, oil, gas, raw logs, water, even transportation.

So the real blame for the disasters, loss of revenues for social services, unemployment rests with governments.

The Enbridge Northern Gateway project produces in the long term almost nothing, except a certainty of environmental disaster and the loss of thousands of jobs both by exporting crude rather than refining it here – approximately 5,000 jobs and losses in the environmentally-based businesses.

Then there is the tremendous cost to Canadian taxpayers because of the tax breaks from the federal government for accelerated write-offs until the investments are written off.

And let us not forget the clean-up cost when disaster strikes.

Dieter Wagner.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kitamaat women complete the three-peat at All Native

Haisla team unstoppable in final as they rout Hazelton; Adelia Paul back to back MVP

No injuries reported following Kitimat Scotiabank robbery

RCMP release image of man wanted in connection with robbery

Northern Health recommends self-quarantine for people returning from Hubei

The healthcare provider said it isn’t neccessary for healthy children to wear face masks

Wet’suwet’en return to camps near Houston, Coastal GasLink workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Kitimat to host Minerals North conference in 2021

Expect between 200 and 300 delegates

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

Ten poisoned eagles rushed to veterinary hospital in Nanaimo

Eagles stricken after eating flesh of euthanized animal at Nanaimo Regional Landfill

Trudeau says Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for country

First Nations leaders suggest it may be time to peacefully end the blockades

B.C. budtenders become first private cannabis workers to unionize in Canada

Two of seven Clarity Cannabis storefronts vote to join UFCW 1518 union

Kids exposed to household cleaners as newborns more likely to get asthma: B.C. study

Air fresheners, plug-in deodorizers, antimicrobial hand sanitizers and oven cleaners were the worst culprits

Victoria, Abbotsford record biggest jumps in rent prices nationwide: report

Toronto and Vancouver had priciest rentals in Canada

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Teen snowmobiler found safe after overnight search in Okanagan

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Most Read