American Iron and Metal is planning to begin construction Monday of a large industrial metal shredder in west Saint John after the project earned its final approval.

Herb Black, president of the Montreal-based company, said he's been given the regulatory green light to proceed with a $30-million scrap metal shredder expansion on its site, which is located on Port of Saint John property.

"The final papers are just being signed and we'll have it on our desk by Friday. And we're geared up to go on Monday," Black said in an interview on Wednesday.

Black said he was given the verbal approval from the federal government.

'It doesn't matter what conditions you have. There's no condition in here that's going to satisfy the opposition.' — Gordon Dalzell, clean-air activist

Just before Christmas, New Brunswick's Department of Environment gave its approval certificate with 12 conditions, including some stringent measures to control noise.

While the federal government may have given its final approval, an official from the province's environment department says the project has not yet received the final certificate required to begin construction.

The company, which started operating in Saint John in 2002, said the proposed facility could be running by spring 2011.

The expanded shredding facility could process up to 250,000 metric tonnes of scrap annually, an increase output of roughly 500 per cent.

The project could create 23 direct jobs and 20 spinoff jobs.

Wrong location

Despite the proposed benefits, some residents in the area are concerned by the expansion project.

During a public meeting, some residents said they feared the added activity will bring more noise, dust and heavy industry to the neighbourhood.

Gordon Dalzell, a spokesman with the city's clean air coalition, said the project is being placed in the wrong location.

Dalzell said he was not impressed and he was caught off guard by the swift approvals.

"It doesn't matter what conditions you have. There's no condition in here that's going to satisfy the opposition," Dalzell said.