Another explosion at Saint John scrap-yard shuts it down the day it re-opens
Published Monday, December 3, 2018 10:40PM AST
A controversial scrap yard in west Saint John has been shut down again before it was officially permitted to re-open.
The province was set to give American Iron and Metal (AIM) permission to resume operations today for a 90-day trial period, a week after it was ordered closed for a series of explosions.
But that trial period was over again before it had much of a chance to get started.
A plan was in place allowing AIM to resume operations for a trial period effective Monday.
That plan was undone by yet another explosion around 10:30 in the morning.
Astatement from Jeff Carr, the minister of environment says: “Our intention to amend the order and allow the company to operate for up to 90 days. Unfortunately, this incident occurred before the amended order was delivered and more steps will need to be taken prior to the company re-starting.”
The department of environment had worked with AIM on the plan, which required the company to take steps to eliminate explosions altogether with more than 40 having been reported to the province since last June.
The stop-work order was issued on Nov. 22.
It's a move that's fueled concerns about the company picking up and leaving the city's west side -- and taking jobs with it.
The Saint John Lancaster Business Association calls it “heavy-handed.”
“They didn't give AIM much of a chance,” said Owen Boyle of the Saint John Lancaster Business Association.“They could have gone down and told AIM we have a serious situation, what can you do moving forward here to alleviate the situation? They just went down and shut them down.”
Others say their main concern isn't the explosions, but what people in the area of the scrap-metal facility are breathing in.
“The thing we've always been concerned about the most is air quality,” said Raven Blue of Liveable Saint John. “In a way, we're really down in the bottom of the mine without a canary. We don't know what's in the air.”
Liveable Saint John has called for a 90-day study of air, noise and vibrations to look into public health and property impacts of AIM.
We reached out to the company for comment today, but did not hear anything before newstime.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.