NS asphalt plant still outrages citizens despite report findings
Residents of a Nova Scotia community are still upset over a possible asphalt plant to be set up by a quarry company, despite the company having met with residents and addressing their questions in a report.
“We have 15 pages of answers to all of the questions that were brought forward,” said Robert MacPherson, president of Scotian Materials.
The company owns a quarry just over two-kilometers from the subdivision of Westwood Hills in Upper Tantallon.
MacPherson said one of the main concerns by residents was whether or not emissions released by the operation would impact air quality, a question the voluntary report filed by his company answers.
“There’s a fuel based component in this where fuels are burned in combustion. So findings of the report show that everything is well below provincial guidelines,” he said.
But residents in Westwood Hills say they’re still not happy about the possibility of having an asphalt operation nearby.
Nick Horne, who lives in the subdivision, said many people believe it will impact the value of their homes.
“I think initially you’re going to see housing values dropped 30-35 per cent,” said Horne, who is also vice president of the Westwood Hills Residents Association.
Horne was one of several people who has been fighting development of the plant since Crown land in Ingramport was exchanged to the quarry company by the Department of Natural Resources in early 2016.
He said residents are also upset because the plant doesn’t fit with the community.
“We’re seeing it attempted to be industrialized and it does not fit, it’s not appropriate for the community,” Horne said.
Mobile asphalt plant
Scotian Materials is applying to regional council to amend regulations in the area to allow for mobile asphalt operations.
“We would roll the mobile plant in, we would set it up in our quarry and then when the job is complete we would pack it up and move it to the next location,” MacPherson said.
But area Councillor Matt Whitman said the application before council is for a permanent site, not a mobile.
“Their exact application is to put in a permanent plant, if they want a temporary plant that’s a different story. What we’re upset about is a permanent plant in the Bowater forest,” he said.
Another concern raised by residents is that an amendment would open up the doors to other industrial activities.
But MacPherson said that belief is based on misinterpreted information.
“Our application is quite specific in that it’s only to allow an asphalt plant in our quarry,” he said.
Two community consultations are being held in Upper Tantallon at the end of January before the application moves forward with regional council.
The findings of Scotian Materials report are open to the public and available on their website.
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