The Tolko Mill in Kelowna on Feb. 2, 2018. (File)

Tolko receives extension for environmental assessment of defunct Kelowna mill

The extension gives Tolko time to decommission, remove structures at the site

Tolko Industries announced on Friday (May 7) it has received an extension for an environmental assessment on the site of its old Kelowna mill from the Ministry of Environment.

The extension comes nearly a year after Tolko had asked for the deadline of its Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) to be pushed back and after the Ministry of Environment said the company wasn’t in compliance with their deadline.

Tolko’s communications advisor Chris Downey said the ministry had a staff change in December, which seemed to create confusion all around.

“The new staff were unaware of the context behind the DSI extension request and sent us a standard non-compliance letter in March,” he said.

Downey added that completing the DSI will take time because the company’s Kelowna site is large and complex.

“The Kelowna site… has a long history of industrial activity and we are taking our time to ensure this is done right,” he said.

“As you can imagine, the pandemic has also had an impact on the process.”

After some time, Tolko received the extension, with a new deadline for the DSI report submission of Feb. 20, 2022. Tolko said in a statement the extension will give them time to decommission and remove many of the buildings and structures at the site, allowing the team to complete their environmental investigation for the DSI.

“The third-party team conducting the site study have used provincial protocols to confirm that the site is not high risk to the environment or human health,” Tolko’s vice president Bob Fleet said.

“While detailed analysis is ongoing, we are pleased with the overall condition of the site given the history of industrial operations.”

Demolition is set to continue, with the plywood plant slated for demolition throughout the summer and fall of this year. Building foundations will remain on the ground until the DSI is finished.

Tolko said there are no updates on future plans and potential uses for the property yet.

READ MORE: Three people die as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Kelowna care home


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

A crash at the intersection of Harvey Avenue and Leckie Road on June 15. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Traffic stalled by Harvey Avenue crash in Kelowna

One lane is open as crews clean up after crash at Harvey Avenue and Leckie Road

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Facebook)
New trial date set for Penticton beach attacker’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

Travel Penticton went to city council for support in increasing the tax on short-term stays to fund a convention bureau and affordable housing. (File photo)
Travel Penticton seeks to grow through increased hotel tax

The increased funds would go to creating a convention bureau and to affordable housing

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read