Minister wants more detail on Whitbourne waste facility

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Site still going through assessment process

Environment Minister Joan Shea has called for more information on a waste facility proposed for near Whitbourne, before deciding whether or not to give it the green light.

A map of the proposed site for the final transfer facility for Eastern Waste Management, which is still under environmental assessment.
— Image courtesy of Eastern Waste Management

Eastern Waste Management’s proposed recovery facility is in the environmental assessment phase. If it is approved, it is to be used for bulk garbage rather than weekly household garbage, acting as a satellite to Robin Hood Bay.

The proposal includes a small depot for Eastern Waste Management and a possible composting test site.

The location is just off the Trans-Canada Highway, about eight and a half kilometres from Whitbourne, near the Peak Pond-Reids Pond area.

A bulletin issued this morning by the Department of Environment states an Environmental Preview Report (EPR) will have to be submitted to the province by Eastern Waste Management before the review can proceed.

“The EPR is necessary to provide additional information including, but not limited to, a site selection plan and an assessment of alternatives, a requirement to conduct a public information session, a detailed operations plan specific to operating the waste recovery facility in order to determine appropriateness of the proposed service area for open windrow composing of municipal solid waste and detailed pest management strategy,” it states.

There is no deadline for the submission of that report.

Once available, the public will be given time to comment on the document — an addition to the original proposal filed by Eastern Waste Management in February and already available for viewing online.

As The Telegram reported, when the project was first registered for review, cabin owners and a few year-round residents in the Peak Pond and Reids Pond area expressed concern about the proposal and, in some cases, have objected outright to the plan, particularly the proposed location.

In the House of Assembly in March, Liberal MHA Paul Lane presented a petition on behalf of some of his constituents who own property in the area. The petition suggested the pond and the area would be negatively affected by the placement of the facility.

Lane suggests a more suitable location might be found.

“Certainly the residents and the cabin owners are very upset by this and I understand there’s an environmental assessment process going ahead, but from the perspective of those cabin owners and residents, they just want it stopped right now, immediately,” Lane said, when presenting the petition.

The facility would be the ninth of its kind created by Eastern Waste Management. The other sites did not have to be taken through the environmental assessment process, given that they were built on former landfill sites.

Questions and comments about the environmental assessment underway can be directed to: Milton Crewe, Environmental Assessment Division at 709-637-2375 or email miltoncrewe@gov.nl.ca.

Related stories:

Eastern Waste Management working on final transfer facility

 MHA adds voice of objection on waste facility site

 

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