Saint John mayor wants meeting with city’s industrial partners following refinery explosion
The mayor of Saint John says there needs to be a conversation regarding the relationship the city has with its industrial partners, after Monday’s explosion at the Irving Oil refinery.
Tuesday, there were also reports of an another explosion at the American Iron and Metal facility across town on the city’s west side.
The company says the noise was from a contained single burst of pressure with no threat to the public. While it wasn’t the extent of a blast at the facility last month, it was enough to concern nearby residents.
“It’s just a nightmare,” said Max Wilson.
Wilson says dust and reduced property values are just two of the issues he’s facing. He also wonders the necessity of the plant operating at times, in his words, “24-7”.
“My wife and I sleep with earplugs,” he said. “You shouldn’t have to do that. What kind of quality of life is that?”
Marguerite Wilson has a close-up view of the facility from her backyard. She has lived there for nearly half a century and says she would sell if she could but wonders if she could find a buyer.
“I used to like my corner,” said Wilson. “I’ve been here 46 years. I raised the kids here and you know, it’s my life.”
WATCH: Investigators probe cause of blast at Irving Oil refinery
Liveable Saint John is a small group born from issues related to the AIM metal facility. It is calling for stiffer penalties on certain issues.
“There needs to be fines and enforcement when there are impacts on the air quality and also around the noise,” said spokesperson Raven Blue.
Meantime, Mayor Darling admits these latest events point to quality of life issues. Part of the dialogue with industrial partners is admittedly financial in nature.
“In particular around that relationship we have around taxation with our industrial players so we think that will be part of this discussion,” said Darling.
There is still no word from Irving Oil on what officially caused the explosion in the diesel unit on Monday. The provincial Department of Environment and Local Government says the company is required to submit a detailed report within five days.
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