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AIM plant in Saint John receives amended work order to operate until at least June 8

WorkSafe NB has confirmed a workplace fatality at AIM Recycling Atlantic in Saint John. Silas Brown/Global News

American Iron & Metal (AIM) scrap recycling facility in Saint John has received an amended work order to keep operations going ahead of the end of a probationary period.

The amended order will allow the plant to operate under strict conditions until at least June 8.

READ MORE: Saint John’s AIM plant could be shut down by the end of the week

Dozens of explosions have been heard at the facility since the summer of 2017. The most recent was Wednesday morning, when an explosion rocked some homes on the lower west side.

That blast registered around 96 decibels, shy of the the 109-decibel threshold that would force the plant to temporarily stop operations.

Environment Minister Jeff Carr signed a stop-work order last November to bring operations to a halt, after residents complained about the repeated explosions.

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The plant was allowed to open back up in December due to a 90-day suspension on their stop-work order, which was due to expire tomorrow.

READ MORE: Stop-work order to remain in effect at Saint John AIM facility after reports of early-morning explosion

On Wednesday, Environment Minister Jeff Carr said he would not be signing their next order to operate until he received plans detailing how the plant will clear out its old inventory, which it said was the source of the explosions.

But Thursday, AIM issued a news release confirming the province had issued an amended order for ongoing operations.

“AIM has been diligently rolling out our plan and commitments to the people of Saint John,” said Herbert Black, president and CEO of AIM, in the news release.

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“We thank the people of Saint John for their ongoing support of our significant contribution to the local and provincial economies,” he went on to say. “In our ongoing commitment to good corporate citizenship, rest assured that we continue to work very hard on a daily basis to resolve these issues.”

The company says it is working working on “innovative technologies” in “trial phases” that will greatly reduce “contained bursts of energy.”

— With files from Silas Brown

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