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2016 News and Information

Richmond seeks to join in appeals of Harvest Power’s air quality permit

15 November 2016

The City of Richmond will apply to the BC Environmental Appeal Board to join in the appeal process of an air quality permit issued to a local composting facility.

Over the past year, Harvest Power’s local composting facility has generated hundreds of complaints about foul odours that have permeated Richmond and other parts of the region. The Richmond facility composts most of the organic waste, including food scraps collected by private haulers and municipalities across the region.

Metro Vancouver recently issued a new air quality permit for Harvest Power’s Richmond facility. The permit includes new, more stringent measures for odour control and remedies if the company fails to comply. Metro Vancouver is responsible for air quality issues within the region, a role delegated by the Province of BC.

The new permit has been appealed by 24 individuals or groups. Harvest Power is one of those appealing the new permit. The City will apply to become a party or participant to those appeals, which will allow it to provide input to the Environmental Appeal Board considering the appeals.

The City is seeking to ensure that new restrictions and penalties included in the air quality permit are maintained. This includes restrictions on volumes handled by the facility and ability to stop the flow of organics waste to the facility if Harvest Power fails to comply with the permit.

Meanwhile, the City is continuing to take action to seek an end to the ongoing odour issue. Senior City staff met last week with the CAOs of both Metro Vancouver and Harvest Power to demand further action to end the odour issue. 

Mayor Malcolm Brodie and senior Richmond staff also attended a community meeting held by Harvest Power. At that meeting Mayor Brodie challenged Harvest Power to reduce volumes at its Richmond facility by no longer accepting organic waste from outside of the region.

Concerned citizens are reminded to call Metro Vancouver’s odour complaint hotline at 604 436 6777 or use the online complaint form on Metro Vancouver’s Make An Air Quality Complaint webpage.

A link to the Metro Vancouver complaint form can also be found on the City of Richmond website’s homepage at www.richmond.ca. Residents are also encouraged to phone Harvest Power directly at 604-836-8387 to encourage the company to meet its responsibilities.

The Province has delegated authority to Metro Vancouver to regulate air quality. The public is encouraged to share their concerns with the Minister of the Environment, at env.minister@gov.bc.ca and/or your local MLA.

More information on the actions the City of Richmond has taken to date can be found at richmond.ca/odorupdate