Red herrings and half-truths

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I am writing in response to the letter from Sean Hanrahan, president and CEO of the St. John's Port Authority, which in turn responded to my open letter addressed to the port authority.

I can only term his response as a masterpiece of red herrings.

The central issue is that the wastewater facility proposed by Encanex has already been largely completed and must have had prior approval to do so before the environmental review was scheduled. The construction consists of a quarter-circular pad east of Pier 17. This is there for anyone to see, together with sheds marked "Encanex."

I quote from the Encanex "EA Review Submission" dated Oct. 25, 2012, submitted to the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation: "Initial civil work for paving and fencing will occur late October 2012 to early November 2012.

"Encanex will be able to commence operation of the Wastewater Treatment Operation as early as January 1, 2013. This will allow time to obtain the necessary approval and permit for the operation as well as to procure and install the equipment."

This plan was derailed by public opposition and the decision of Environment Minister Tom Hedderson to require an Environment Preview Report, and by his decision that the proponent be required to hold public meetings during the EPR process.

To respond to Mr. Hanrahan's first red herring, of course there is no treatment happening at the present - it has been stopped pending the review. The second herring is with regard to the presence of an Encanex installation now admitted to be there, but apparently only for tank washing. The quarter-circular pad corresponds exactly to the plan for the full facility proposed by Encanex. No doubt there is more equipment about to be installed, but derailed by the minister's decision. The biggest port authority red herring is the dolphin issue - we have seen construction of this from the Battery over the past while. The herring goes as follows "no, there is no wastewater plant, only a dolphin." Now: "yes, there might be a small plant ..."

Come off it, Mr. Hanrahan. Let's have the straight facts.

Ian Jordaan

St. John's

Organizations: St. John's Port Authority, Newfoundland and Labrador Department of

Geographic location: St. John's

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