Recent History – 2001
Jan. 5, 2001
DAWSON CREEK — Louisiana-Pacific (LP) has a couple of environment-oriented objectives on the agenda for 2001.
Speaking during a Dawson Creek and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday, human resources manager Pat Mersereau said LP intends to have the bark burner in Chetwynd completely decommissioned.
Used to help LP get rid of the bark pile at its oriented strand board plant, Mersereau said it’s been only partially decommissioned so far. “Part of decommissioning anything is reclamation, and we haven’t done the reclamation, and that will be done during the summer season of 2001,” he said.
LP ceased using the pit burn in the spring of 1999 after striking a deal with ECL Environmental Services Ltd. in for a large-scale composting operation using the wood waste.
It’s situated on about 120 acres of city-owned land between the airport and the site of the veneer plant LP is constructing at the corner of Highway Two and Snake Pit Road.
Mersereau said that LP also wants to improve on-site runoff management and treatment at the OSB plant, but did not go into detail about how it will be done.
Mersereau did take the time to recount the commitments LP has made on the environmental front over the last few years.
He noted that a thermal fluid heater has been operating since August to reduce the amount of wood byproduct at the mill and to reduce emissions.
The result has been a 10 to 20 fold reduction in the concentration of particulate emissions as compared to the old system.
As well, between the pit burn in Chetwynd and the composting venture, LP has spent a combined $6 million to bring down the bark pile.
As well, stations measuring ambient particulate in the air have been set up around town. “And what we’ve noticed on that is that we have not seen any exceedence of ambient formaldehyde guidelines,” he said.
And LP has developed its own assessment index to show how well it is meeting environmental objectives. Mersereau said the assessment has shown LP improving from 72 per cent compliance in 1999 to 96 per cent in 2000.
He added that the mill’s fines recovery system, used to reclaim sawdust and other similar material, has recently been fine-tuned after there was some trouble over Christmas.
With a payroll of $14 million per year for 185 employees, Mersereau said LP has a large impact locally, boosted by about $6 million worth of purchases made locally each year.
“We at LP Dawson Creek are making and will continue to make an effort to be definitely environmentally-friendly and to be community-friendly,” he said. “We are part of this community, we are a major employer in this area, and we have a responsibility to the community and the citizens, many of whom just happen to be our employees.”