The continuation of an Environmental Appeal Board hearing contesting an air-quality permit issued to a South Surrey galvanizing plant has been pushed back two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched by a group of residents and representatives of environmental organizations, the appeal hearing began a year ago, reconvened for two weeks in February and had been scheduled to resume Tuesday (April 14).
However, appellants were advised last month that the hearing is now tentatively on the board’s docket for June 8-12, due to restrictions on travel and group gatherings, and in consideration of the health and well-being of all parties.
It’s also been moved to Richmond, a letter signed by EAB chair Darrell LeHouillier states.
The permit in question was issued to Ebco Metal Finishing LP by Metro Vancouver, allowing the annual discharge of 3.7 tonnes of contaminants from the hot-dip facility, located in the 18500-block of 25 Avenue.
Appellants have told the EAB board of fears of long-term impacts of the emissions on human, animal and crop health, while Metro Vancouver officials have described the plant as a “relatively small emitter” compared to others in the region that are also authorized to discharge contaminants.