Tell if you smell Harvest Power, says City of Richmond

After Harvest Power announced its forthcoming closure, the City of Richmond is asking residents to continue to report any odours coming from the composting facility.

Harvest Power spokesperson Stephen Bruyneel told the Richmond News last month that the company was not willing to make multi-million dollar facility improvements amidst uncertainty surrounding its air quality permit, issued by Metro Vancouver.

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The pending closure is being celebrated amongst Richmond residents dedicated to ending years of nuisance odours emanating from the open-air organic waste-to-energy facility, near Westminster Highway and No. 8 Road.

In the meantime, however, the city says it will continue to work to ensure Metro Vancouver and the provincial government hold Harvest Power accountable.

“Continued stringent monitoring and enforcement is needed to address the ongoing complaints about odours emanating from the site as long as it continues to operate,” the city said in a statement.

“Over the past two years, Richmond has continuously lobbied Metro Vancouver and the Province of B.C. to take measures necessary to address the ongoing air quality issues created by the Harvest Power facility.”

Metro Vancouver and the province are the governing bodies responsible for regulating air quality.

“This (lobbying) has resulted in tighter operating conditions for Harvest Power and increased enforcement,” the city said.

“While complaints have generally decreased over that period, it continues to be an ongoing issue within the community.”

In 2012, Harvest Power reportedly took in 27,000 tonnes of organic waste. But by 2016, it was taking in 240,000 tonnes as Metro Vancouver rolled out its organic waste ban in garbage.

Harvest Power’s operating permit expires in April 2020 but operation is expected to wind down before then.

With files from Graeme Wood

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