From the website of the Aboriginal Cogeneration Corporation:
successfully developed a partnership with the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota (UND), www.undeerc.org to develop a green energy solution using discontinued creosote railway ties.
The proposal is to demonstrate that the new gasifier technology is an effective method for disposing of creosote treated railway ties. The proposal is based on an existing facility built by the designers in North Dakota. There are other facilities in both BC and over the border in the United States in which creosote treated ties are burned. The experience of the Ministry with those facilities will be used in the evaluation of the ACC proposal.
There is one line in the Ministry of Environment answer that should give us all pause (emphasis added by me):
The proposal is to demonstrate that the new gasifier technology is an effective method for disposing of creosote treated railway ties.
This may be a very safe and effective technology but we should do all demonstration further away from residential and shopping areas.
We should be concerned about air emissions with a relatively new technology, even if modeling shows a very small effect on air quality. There are just too many variables that exist in the real world implementation.
Creosote soaked ties are certainly bad for human health, disposing of them safely is very important, generating power with them also very important, but the currently proposed old Weyerhaeuser sawmill site is just too close to neighbourhoods and shops.
I'm not saying no all facilities of this type. I am saying that facilities we support should have a good track record and/or minimum impact and that we should err on the side of caution.
A group of Kamloopsians opposed to this proposal has put up the rather hyperbolically named Save Kamloops web site. It's got some pretty good info, especially the post with all the original documents submitted by the Aboriginal Co-Generation Corporation thus far.