Pier activity sparks concern in Battery

Barb
Barb Sweet
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A water treatment plant has been proposed for Pier 17 at the far east end of St. John's harbour. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Some nearby residents are concerned a Pier 17 wastewater proposal has jumped ahead, but the St. John’s Port Authority says construction in the area is unrelated and is actually for expanding waterfront vessel berthing.

In a letter to the editor, Battery resident Ian Jordaan said construction on the waterfront resembles the plan for the Encanex proposal.

“In this city, chaos reigns when it comes to the harbour,” Jordaan wrote.

St. John’s Coun. Sheilagh O’Leary said she’s had some calls about an Encanex sign at the location, but is pleased about a provincial decision to gather more information on the proposal.

Encanex Environmental Oil and Gas Corp wants to build a wastewater treatment operation on Pier 17, next to the existing MI SWACO site below The Battery.

Environment Minister Tom Hedderson advised Dec. 14 that an environmental preview report (EPR) is required for the project.

Details required include types of wastewater fluids, treatment processes and monitoring, storage and discharge details and potential impacts on the surrounding infrastructure and environment.

According to Bob McCarthy, director of business development for the St. John’s Port Authority, construction taking place in the area is actually Pier 18 east, for additional berthing facilities, as the harbour is cramped for space.

The mooring dolphin is in addition to two that are already in place.

The project was awarded to the low bidder, Trident Construction at a bid price of 1.244 million. Work started in May and is ongoing with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2013.

The authority is forecasting more than 1,300 commercial vessel arrivals to the Port of St. John’s during 2013.

Meanwhile, Encanex’ plan would see a plant take in water sullied with petroleum hydrocarbons and other contaminants associated with the offshore oil industry. Such wastewater is currently trucked out of the province.

The wastewater would then be piped into the facility from ships via existing infrastructure, treated, and then some of the material would

be released into the city's storm or sanitary sewers.

The city is also asking for more information on the project.

City staff recently met with the applicant.

Coun. Tom Hann, liaison with the city’s development committee, said there still wasn't enough information forthcoming from that meeting with Encanex.

Encanex didn’t respond to a request for an interview as of deadline.

bsweet@thetelegram.com

See letter to the editor, page A8

Organizations: Port Authority, Gas

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  • proud townie
    December 24, 2012 - 20:27

    I can't believe the nerve of the St. John's Port Authority to call Mr. Jordan and the residents of the Outer Battery lairs. The Encanex facility "HAS" been built and is waiting for the passing of the "environmental assessment", almost like it's "inevitable". Yes, there is construction on a new dolphin pier to accommodate more vessel traffic, this is not what Mr. Jordan is talking about at all, but SJPA are once again misleading the public in their response to these questions. Any person can drive down onto pier 17 at the far end of water street and clearly see the Encanex facility inside the fenced area adjacent to pier 17 East. The sign clearly reads pier 18 Waste Water treatment facility, and all the Encanex equipment is in place to start treating this oily slug from the offshore oil rigs. "WHO" is going to take SJPA to task with all their misleading and underhanded ways. First the Harbor fence and now this pier 18 treatment plant right under the historical community of the battery. Millions of tax payers dollars have been spent on tourism ads in NL promoting this rich historical and scenic area and now they want to treat oily slug right under their windows. The chair of the board of directors of SJPA Steve Marshall should be brought to task along with the CEO of SJPA Sean Hanrahan. I think enough is enough....