A hearing to prevent construction of residential buildings near BioVectra’s chemical plant resumed today in Charlottetown.
The company wants the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) to prevent the construction of three apartment buildings close to its factory.
The company argued against the construction in February 2011, but IRAC ruled against BioVectra in that case.
BioVectra has also appealed to the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island.
Today, BioVectra's lawyer, Jonathan Coady, outlined the company's argument about safety concerns.
One building already exists, the 18-unit building opened in 2010.
The city should have considered public safety before granting a building permit for more three apartment buildings on the other side of BioVectra's fence, Coady said.
The company says there are toxic and flammable chemicals in the outdoor tanks that could pose a risk to the area in the unlikely event of an accident.
It’s also claiming the city should never have built Nicholas Lane, the access road for the apartments, without the province's permission.
Transportation Minister Robert Vessey OK'd the move after the road was built.
The city's lawyer, David Hooley, says the building permits meet federal fire codes and he says city staff shouldn't try to change them.
Matthew Bradley, the developer's lawyer, pointed out BioVectra's development agreement with the city says it can't endanger its neighbours.
So he says, if BioVectra believes the chemical plant is a risk to public safety, the city should force it to shut down.
The IRAC hearing is scheduled to go all week, but lawyers for all three parties expect it won't take that long.
All three members of IRAC's panel are different from those who ruled in the city's favour last year. The city urged the panel to look at this hearing with a fresh perspective.