Alpine Paving is rolling a whole new asphalt plant into town in time for the upcoming operating season.
The company, which currently operates an asphalt plant on a property close to the Cheakamus Crossing residential neighbourhood, announced in a joint news release with the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) that the new mobile facility has been purchased for about $2 million and will meet "higher emissions standards" in a way that will address the "majority of complaints from neighbourhood residents.
The location of the plant will remain the same.
"The new plant is consistent with the plants that currently operate in Metro Vancouver and meets the stringent air quality standards set in Metro Vancouver," Alpine Paving owner Frank Silveri said in the news release. "This new plant is the right thing to do considering the neighbourhood next door and it is also a good business decision for our company."
The current plant, according to the news release, meets "all current Provincial regulations for asphalt plant emissions and operations." Alpine Paving expects the new one to "far exceed" new air quality regulations that are currently being introduced by the province.
As Alpine Paving rolls a new plant into town, the RMOW may re-introduce an air quality management bylaw that would apply the same emissions standards as exist in Metro Vancouver, which the news release states are the "strictest in the province, and would provide the RMOW with additional tools for enforcement."
The new plant is being announced after a lengthy history of conflict between a group of Whistler residents opposed to its location near Cheakamus Crossing and the municipality, which has continually maintained that the existing facility has a right to operate where it is.
The RMOW initially came to a Relocation Agreement with Alpine Paving around the plant, which would have moved it 150 metres away from its current location. The zoning associated with the agreement failed in September.
As part of the agreement, the RMOW would have introduced a new air quality bylaw that included more stringent emissions standards and initially committed to providing the company with up to $350,000 to help it purchase a Baghouse and other components that would have allowed the plant to comply with the new standards.
The RMOW said it is not making a financial contribution to the new plant.