Crofton mill more serious than woodsmoke

Crofton mill more serious than woodsmoke

Clear away the wildfire smoke, and the mill smoke remains a constant year-round intruder

Crofton mill more serious than woodsmoke

In response to letters printed in the Aug. 4 edition, from Mr. and Mrs. Crosson and Mr. Hall from Lake Cowichan. Yet more finger-wagging about “woodsmoke”; I would suggest that these (and many other letter-writers on this topic) long-suffering inhalers of Cowichan Valley “pollution” take a peek outside today.

What you see and, apologies, have no choice but to breathe, is “woodsmoke” all right. From the Interior! In case you’re not following the plethora of news bulletins and ‘hashtag’ #BCWildfireGovtInfo postings on social media.

What you’re not seeing, though still breathing, is the added spice of daily belching smoke emissions from the Crofton mill. I live north of Crofton, so while driving into town, watch the miasma of particulate-laden “fake clouds” regularly spreading all over Duncan and south. Currently, thanks to the hazardous wildfire smoke blanketing this part of Vancouver Island like we’ve never seen before, the “clouds” from the mill can hide in plain sight.

Clear away the wildfire smoke, and the mill smoke remains a constant year-round intruder, “particularly” when the wind blows from the north-east. What do the CVRD directors and North Cowichan councillors, mayor and spokespersons have to say about the mill smoke, to placate the public? Nothing! Never do they include the “Crofton mill factor” in any discussion, spoken or written. Why not? The answer is simple: tax revenues — year round.

After the B.C. wildfires from hell emergency this summer, bringing burned wood smoke right out to the west coast of our Island; plus the pernicious all-pervading presence of Crofton mill smoke into normally clear air 360 days of the year approximately, I for one don’t wish to read one more cranky letter in the local press about woodsmoke.

Our Island is paradise compared to the ‘normal’ smog and chemical-laden haze covering Vancouver 24/7 (hence the “wonderful sunsets”). However, the Crofton mill ‘factor’ is more often than not, the far larger usual suspect here in the Valley, thus rendering the cries of Foul! “toxic woodsmoke” come the fall and winter, moot.

Joanna Dudley

Chemainus