The topic of environment compliance and Rio Tinto Alcan has been a hot topic recently with the termination of the lease between Rio Tinto and Moon Bay Marina but one of the items not making headlines is the environmental impact of the Fluoride Emissions from 2009.
In his report to Rio Tinto Alcan’s Ingot Magazine for the months of September – October, Paul Henning, President of BC Operations, explains the biggest concern is the smelters emission levels during the spring and summer of 2009, which have exceeded their permit level for fluoride emissions stating they had been in communications with the BC Ministry of Environment and were prepared when they received a letter of Non Compliance in September 2009.
The Ingot also provided a graph which showed they produced 69 tonnes in June, 79 tonnes in July and 95 tonnes of Fluoride in August. The article explained they usually produce 35-50 tonnes a month annually.
As this could affect their operating licence, Rio Tinto Alcan put together a task force to identify and review what could be causing these emissions. However, they estimated there could be 250 possible causes and determined the top ten list.
The 2009 September – October issue of the Ingot was also kind enough to provide a snapshot of the emissions percentages on the last page of the issue in the bottom corner. The snapshot reported emissions had decreased to 21% overall. The November – December issue of the Ingot, again in the bottom corner of the back page, revealed non compliance at a rate 19% still exceeding their target of 10%.
At time of this publication, the most recent issue of the Ingot, January – February 2010, the average across the plant had increased to 26%.
The task force had until the end of 2009 to provide their findings to the Ministry of Environment and have until the summer of 2010 to comply.
The Terrace Daily has contacted Rio Tinto Alcan on this topic over a month ago and have yet to hear back from them. This article was researched using Alcan’s own publication, The Ingot Magazines for September – October 2009, pages 5-6, 7-8 and 14, November – December 2009, page 14 and January – February 2010, page 14.
Various other media have reported on the claims that RTA is closing Moon Bay Marina due to yet unknown environmental considerations. We reported on April 9th on the same issues: HERE
In August 2009 we questioned the seriousness of this problem HERE