This campaign by East Vancouver residents brings people together to address an old problem: the horrible smell from the West Coast Reduction Ltd. rendering plant on Commercial Drive at the waterfront. The problem has existed since the plant opened in 1964. The smell is a result of animal waste including fish, fat, blood and feathers treated at very high temperatures. The Stop the Stink campaign says the stink is horrible and that any amount of rendering odour is wrong in an area with a large residential population.
The main strategy is to increase the number of complaints to Metro Vancouver. Stop the Stink has been told that Metro Vancouver thinks not many people mind, and that they will not take it more seriously unless they get “thousands of complaints from hundreds of people”. So every time you smell it, call the Metro Vancouver complaint line (604-436-6777) or use its Online complaint form for air quality complaints.
On 8 March 2010, the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board rejected calls from Grandview Woodland residents for stricter limits on odour from West Coast Reduction Ltd. Ray Robb, Metro Vancouver’s district director of air quality, said “the residents had provided very strong evidence to show that air quality was unacceptable.” See the CBC article about the EAB decision.
On 9 May 2010, GWAC sent a letter to Mr. Barry C. Glotman, President and Chief Executive Officer, West Coast Reduction, about joining its Community Advisory Panel, contingent on West Coast Reduction acknowledging that it is the source of the offensive odours, that the company will stop the odours, and that the only work of the panel will be a plan to stop the odours.
At a meeting on 29 June 2010, Ray Robb said that Metro Vancouver is not seeking a judicial review of the Environmental Appeal Board decision, but instead is seeking a new bylaw. If a bylaw is approved by the Directors of Metro Vancouver (who are all elected officials), then the bylaw could not be appealed by the EAB, though it could be overturned by the Minister of Environment or the courts.
For information about the odour requirements that Metro Vancouver has developed for West Coast Reduction, see the section on “Information regarding amendment to the West Coast Reduction Ltd. Permit” half way down the Metro Vancouver – Air Quality Regulatory Program web page.