Pinnacle Pellet in Smithers. At an Oct. 8 Smithers council meeting, Coun. Casda Thomas said she had a chance to attend an Oct. 1 meeting held by the company and made open to residents. There is a plan to have a follow-up meeting in mid-October. Thomas said one of the themes that came out of the meeting was the possibility of moving the log chipper offsite. (File photo)

Pellet plant noise mitigation moves forward

Pinnacle held an open house Oct. 1 to apprise neighbours of its progress

After a number of complaints made against Pinnacle Pellet by residents who live near the wood pellet plant, the company is taking action.

At the Oct. 8 Smithers council meeting, Coun. Casda Thomas said she had a chance to attend an Oct. 1 meeting held by the company and made open to residents.

READ MORE: Smithers couple says Pinnacle Pellet plant noise is unbearable

A number of residents came to represent the larger community that lives near the plant and is the source of numerous complaints against noise produced by Pinnacle’s log chipper (which was subsequently replaced, after initial complaints, with a log grinder).

Thomas said the meeting seemed respectful and like a productive session, adding she felt it was good Pinnacle had an opportunity to explain to concerned community members what they’ve been doing to mitigate excess noise coming from the property.

“The communication hasn’t always necessarily gotten to the residents so it was just good, I think, for everybody to hear where everything is at and what they’re doing.”

Thomas said the “what” includes working with engineers to try and figure out a solution.

READ MORE: Residents frustrated with Pinnacle wood pellet plant noise

“The plan is to have a follow-up mid-October and one of the themes that came out of it was … perhaps in the mean time moving the chipper offsite.”

Pinnacle’s plant’s General Manager of Operations Jeff Johnston had previously told The Interior News the company is currently looking at both alternative grinder designs as well as ideal on-site locations with the overall goal of lowering volume for surrounding areas.

He said this also includes working with an engineering firm that does studies around acoustics and vibrations to try and determine additional mitigation strategies for future log grinding.

The Interior News reached out to Pinnacle for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

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