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'The whole house shakes': Moncton residents fed up with noise, odour from AIM facility

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The New Brunswick government has given the American Iron and Metal Company (AIM) a deadline of December 22 to offer a response to the release of a task force review into a massive scrapyard fire that happened in Saint John this September.

Meanwhile, residents of a Moncton neighbourhood are worried a similar fire could happen in their backyard.

Jesse Babin is fed up with the odour and noise coming from the AIM metal recycling facility in a mini-industrial park in Moncton’s east end.

“We hear them all day, every day. They're very loud and you often hear these loud crashes. I mean, the whole house shakes,” said Babin.

Not far down the street from Babin, Mike Plourde said the noise has been louder than usual.

“It's gotten really, really loud,” said Plourde. “Will it calm down? I don’t know.”

The AIM recycling plant in Moncton, N.B., is seen on Dec. 9, 2023. (Derek Haggett/CTV Atlantic)

Heavy trucks were coming and going from the Toombs Street operation on Friday and the noise from cranes could easily be heard.

The sound may be irritating to Babin and Plourde, but their bigger concern is the massive fire at the AIM facility in Saint John on September 14.

The city was coated in thick, toxic smoke for over 24 hours and it took 22 million gallons of water to fight the fire, most of that was sea water from the harbour.

A fire burns at the American Iron and Metal recycling facility in Saint John, N.B., on Sept. 14, 2023. (Avery MacRae/CTV Atlantic)

A task force review released this week stated AIM’s Saint John location was “entirely inappropriate” with a “significant risk” of more explosions and fires at the current site.

“If they catch fire in the middle of the night like Saint John, what's going to happen? We're right next door. This is in our backyard. There's a daycare across the street, so I think people are getting very worried and that's why we're making noise because this isn't OK,” said Babin.

Moncton East MLA Daniel Allain met with residents and members of city council twice to discuss their complaints.

He wonders if the Moncton Fire Department has the resources to fight a similar fire and he said residents living near the operation have legitimate concerns.

“It’s odour, it’s the noise, it’s the operation and now with the AIM report coming out of Saint John I think we have legit concerns on fire services and national code violations,” said Allain.

A spokesperson for the City of Moncton told CTV News they continue to receive complaints from residents and they are investigating and doing their due diligence.

Allain said the province and the city will continue to gather as much information about the AIM facility in Moncton as they can.

“The height of the piles of scrap, which is interesting because there’s a national code, and here this morning I was visiting. The pile’s pretty high,” said Allain.

Allain said the province has been in touch with AIM about its concerns.

The AIM facility was purchased from Tri Province back in March.

In November, AIM was found guilty in Moncton provincial court of operating without a licence on May 23 and were fined just under $300.

CTV News did reach out to the Quebec-based company for comment on the Moncton facility, but did not hear back from them.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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