Another explosion stops AIM from reopening after stop-work order
Blast at Saint John scrap recycler occurred on first day of probation
American Iron and Metal's probationary period ended Monday before it even started after another explosion at the scrap-metal recycling yard next to Saint John Harbour.
The recycler on the west side of the city was supposed to start up again Monday morning, more than a week after the province shut down operations because of explosions and noise problems.
Shortly before the yard was supposed to start a 90-day probation, another explosion shook people's homes, according to Saint John resident and activist Raven Blue.
"I think it's something we've become quite familiar with in the neighbourhood here," Blue said.
To stay closed for now
Jeff Carr, minister of environment and local government, said that means the recycling plant will remain closed.
A stop-work order was issued Nov. 22, and the Department of Environment required the company to take measures to eliminate explosions and the impact of excessive noise and vibrations.
"It was our intention to amend the order and allow the company to operate for up to 90 days," Carr said in a statement Monday.
"Unfortunately, this incident occurred before the amended order was delivered, and more steps will need to be taken prior to the company re-starting."
Government records show that since June 1, 2017, there have been at least 36 blasts at the AIM site.
CEO doesn't see problem
Carr said the department will discuss with the company what steps it must take before it can operate again.
"The order to cease operations will remain in effect until further notice," Carr said.
Herbert Black, CEO of American Iron and Metal, said the company was doing "some testing" but did not elaborate on what he meant and generally shrugged off the events of Monday.
"I don't think there is a problem," he said. "You're just wasting time and looking for headlines."