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Harmac mill’s pollutant tops any wood smoke

NANAIMO: Re: Wood heating requires care, Opinion, Nov. 27.

To the Editor,

Re: Wood heating requires care, Opinion, Nov. 27.

According to your editorial, there is little worse than going for a walk on a cold, clear night and having to breathe in wood stove smoke, or having to keep your windows closed on a sunny, early spring day because a neighbour’s chimney is pumping out dark, smelly pollutants.

Really? I can think of a lot of worse things.

One of them is the Harmac mill which belches out pollutants far more harmful than wood smoke every hour of every day of the year.

Anyone concerned about air quality who ignores Harmac’s contribution can hardly be taken seriously.

Personally, I don’t mind wood smoke. It’s a reminder of the time of year – like falling leaves and frost – and it has a homey smell. I doubt many people choke on it or have to keep their windows closed because of it.

I can’t say the same about Harmac. Sometimes the acrid odour is so bad you’d think there was a natural gas leak. And sulphur dioxide is far more harmful than anything that comes from burning wood.

But Harmac is a sacred cow, and both the media and local government in Nanaimo keep silent about it. As long as they do, complaints about wood smoke are just hot air.

Gregory Roscow