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N.B. shell-drying facility responds to plant closure

The stink has been stopped, at least for now.

A shell-drying facility in Richibucto, New Brunswick was shut down by the province Thursday, which is much celebrated by the local residents who have been vocal about the stench for weeks.

Many have planted ‘Stop the Stink’ signs on their property in protest of the smell coming from the seafood waste plant.

The Department of Environment and Local Government notified Coastal Shell Products that it was not meeting one of its conditions of approval and it won't be allowed to re-open until it produces a plan to bring it back into compliance.

Kent Clean Air Action committee chairperson JoAnne Robichaud was very pleased to hear the news.

“However, I knew immediately it's only temporary. This is not going to stop here. So, we have to continue our efforts to basically shut this plant down and have it removed,” Robichaud said.

The facility takes fishing industry waste and processes it into things like fertilizer.

In a statement to CTV News, the company accepted responsibility for the closure saying an employee quickly made a decision that ended up being the wrong one.

"As requested, we have quickly developed an action plan and have immediately implemented new processes to ensure this issue is never repeated,” reads the statement.

Coastal Shell Products said this is the first incident of this nature since it began operations in 2017.

Residents in the Beaurivage area said the smell from the plant has been unbearable for the past few months.Coastal Shells Products plant in the community of Beaurivage."It depends on the way the wind is blowing,” said resident Cecille Thompson. “You wouldn't believe how many meteorologists are being born these past few months because everybody's watching the wind.”

Thompson said only certain people at certain times of the night can enjoy their homes and outside activities due to the stench, and it all depends on the wind.

“When the wind blows in the wrong direction and you're in that stink, it's intolerable. It’s intolerable,” Thompson said.

Resident Rejean Vautour hopes the plant stays closed.

"That smell is unreal. If the wind is blowing toward my house, we got to go in. You can't stay outside because you will puke," Vautour said.

It's unclear how long the closure will last.

Beaurivage Mayor Arnold Vautour said town council’s position is Coastal Shell Products must fully fix the plant so there’s no smell at all.

“If they can’t fix it 100 per cent we want it to be relocated somewhere else and if not, shut it down,” said Mayor Vautour.

The company says it's concerned its closure will have a ripple effect throughout the province.

“Our concerns today are for the ten processing facilities in New Brunswick who, without Coastal Shell, will have a hard time finding a place to discard their processed shells,” reads the statement. “This could lead to layoffs in the industry which would be an extremely unfortunate outcome.”

There's currently 26 employees at the facility, but the company says that number fluctuates throughout the year.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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