Province to tear down derelict fish plant in Englee

Colin MacLean
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The province announced Wednesday it will tear down the former Sea Treat Ltd. fish plant in Englee and send the bill to the company after it ignored an order to clean up the site. — TC Media file photo

Anyone talking to Englee Mayor Rudy Porter Wednesday probably caught him in a good mood.

The provincial government announced Wednesday morning it has waited long enough for the owners of the former Englee fish plant to tear down the decrepit building.

The province will pay to have the work done. The bill will be sent to the plant’s owners, Sea Treat Ltd. which was a subsidiary of Daley Brothers which declared bankruptcy in 2007.

This is a day Porter has been waiting for.

“I’m jubilant. I’m elated. I’m on cloud nine. Finally,” he said.

The Town of Englee has long called the large building a safety hazard and an eyesore.

It sits adjacent to one of its major roads, as well as being built partially over the harbour.

It was closed and abandoned in 2004. A section of roof collapsed last winter and lately a section of one of the walls has started to show stress.

The province had issued an order of cleanup under the Environmental Protection Act to the owners, but the deadline came and went without any action taken.

Service NL Minister Paul Davis told The Telegram it was a legal quagmire to manoeuvre to get to the point where the province felt comfortable doing the demolition work itself.

“We’ve taken every step we can to encourage (the owners) to take responsibility for it. We have not been successful in doing that,” said Davis.

“We’re at the point now where we’re satisfied that, from a legal perspective, we’ve exhausted all the avenues that are available to use to apply the Environmental Protection Act. And I should tell you that we’re not finished with our efforts to hold people responsible. Our intention is to continue to hold them responsible even though we are going to move forward and carry out the work necessary.”

 That could mean potential legal action against the company’s trustees in the future, he warned.

In the present, work has already started on a plan to safely demolish the plant and remediate the land. A consulting company was on site Wednesday. Davis said it was too early to estimate how long the demolition will take, but he did say it should progress quickly.

That’s a relief for local NDP MHA Christopher Mitchelmore. He started pushing for the site’s cleanup even before he was elected last fall.

He’s happy with the province’s commitment to remediate the site, but promised to keep a close eye on the work’s progress.

“I’ll be watching this very closely. Because even though they have the commitment I won’t be satisfied until they have that plant removed and completely remediated,” said Mitchelmore.

Twitter: @TelegramMacLean

Organizations: Sea Treat, Daley Brothers

Geographic location: Englee

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Recent comments

  • Political Watcher
    August 02, 2012 - 09:48

    Funny thing; the Province takes years to go after these people only tonot collect a cent. Even after the work is done all they will do i send out an invoice that will most likely be ignored. Compare that to the collection methods for the former School Tax; long after the tax was abolished the Gov't were still attaching wages and garnisheeing other forms of income. Why don't they just do the work add a 15% fee for he delays and then go directly to the Daley Brothers bank account and collect it.

  • KR
    August 02, 2012 - 08:56

    Why do fish plant owners make lots of money and then the company goes bankrupt? The workers lose their jobs but the owners get rich. It's not right.

  • JT
    August 02, 2012 - 08:18

    This illustrates how much of a drag the fishery is on the taxpayer's of this province. We continuosly hear the proponents of the fishery trotting out the millions of dollars in value the fishery is to the province. Well if we subtracted from that value, the money spent on EI, make work projects, subsidies to harvesters, subsidies to plant owners etc. etc. etc., we would soon find that value whittled down substantially.

  • Original Townie
    August 02, 2012 - 07:39

    What a joke.....the provincial govt. will not scare Terry Daly. This guy has been threatened that many times in the past he just smiles and walks away with the money.

  • Fred from Brigus
    August 02, 2012 - 06:41

    Consulting company on site ??. More waste of taxpayers $$$$$$. With a good backhoe and a couple of tandem dump trucks the demolition should take 2 days. Why not give it to the locals for firewood or better still let the Fire Department use it for a training exercise a no-brainer.. Control burn

    • R
      August 02, 2012 - 07:27

      Fred from Brigus - have you ever been in a fish plant? The consulting company is there to assess environmental hazzards from Amonia and Chlorine and others that may get into the Harbour. Not to mention, a lot of these old plants used Abestos to wrap their pipes. The building is fallling into the Harbour, I don't think as a Council, I would want the legal liability of sending our volunteer Fire Dept into the Building.