Pole peeler will make changes to reduce noise

Pole peeler plant in Campbell River will undertake noise abatement recommendations in a sound consultants report

Twenty-three years ago Campbell River’s Tracey Deller suffered a head injury, was flown to Victoria hospital, and put on life support.

Following the injury, Deller was unable to return to work as a critical care nurse. Her doctors thought it would be best for her health and recovery to work at the Blue Spruce Home Park, as it was quiet and low stress. And it was – until a noisy pole peeler plant moved in next door, Deller said.

“I wake up in the morning thinking about this and go to bed at night thinking, worrying and wondering about all this.”

The pole peeler, located at 5301 Duncan Bay Road, has had nearby homeowners up in arms since it began operating on Jan. 23. Neighbours have complained incessantly to city hall about the level of noise the debarker emits as it peels the logs.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Walter Jakeway announced the pole peeler owner is willing to work towards a solution.

He said Northern Pressure Treated Wood Ltd. out of Ontario agreed to undertake all the modifications outlined in a sound consultant’s report. The recommendations include reducing the area of the in-and-out log feeds, enclosing the in-and-out feeds with insulated tunnels, and installing a series of flexible vinyl curtains along the tunnels.

It’s expected to take four to six weeks to design the modifications and secure a building permit. City Clerk Peter Wipper said the company has until April 27 to produce an application for the modifications. The owner is then expected to shut down the plant for two to three weeks to do the changes.

But Deller said the changes will not make much difference.

“(A consultant) told me the sound report was for the pole plant only, how much noise do they make, and how it can be made quieter,” Deller said.

“It was not measuring the impact on the surrounding community.”

The sound consultant’s report backs up Deller’s claim.

Eric de Santis of BKL Consultants, says “that while a significant reduction in peeler noise is achievable with the recommendations, peeler noise may still be audible to those in the nearby community.”