Dozens of explosions documented at Saint John recycling facility
Dozens of explosions have been documented at the American Iron and Metal recycling facility on the city's waterfront in about a year and a half and some neighbours want to see it gone.
The noise coming from just beyond Vernon Lanteigne's backyard has driven him out of the city to sleep.
“I'm working night shift and I can't sleep here in the daytime, so I have to drive to my cottage in Welsford every day just to get a few hours’ sleep before I go in to my next shift,” Lanteigne said.
That's about a 30-minute drive from west Saint John, where the American Iron & Metal recycling facility is located That facility is right next to the neighbourhood Lanteigne calls home.
“It’s hard on the body; it's hard on the psyche actually,” he said.
The day-to-day noise of the recycling facility at work, though, is nothing compared to last Friday morning when some Saint Johners woke up to the sound of an explosion.
CTV News has learned that from June last year until now, there have been 36 explosions at this facility reported to the province.
The company is required to report all explosions at its facility in Saint John to the provincial department of environment, whether they're small or large, under its approval to operate. The company is also required to do air-quality monitoring of particulate matter in the surrounding area.”
The number of reported explosions has surprised at least one resident, who moved into the neighbourhood in February.
“You can feel it,” said Amanda Bourque.“The house shakes, and it's a solid house built on bedrock, so it's kind of scary now that I know it's something exploding,”
Meantime, Lanteigne say this facility should be moved.
He says he tried to sell his house, but gave up.
“Our property values have obviously decreased,” said Lanteigne. “Seriously, who would want to live here? I don't want to live here anymore.”
For its part, the company says it’s already going above and beyond what its operating licence requires and that they are continuing to look into new technology that could improve the facility.
That’s not good enough for Lanteigne, who contends there's no way to do this quietly.
New Brunswick's Department of Environment says it has asked the Department of Justice and Public Safety to conduct an investigation into last Friday's explosion. And Worksafe NB has also confirmed that it launched an investigation as well.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.