Nfld. & Labrador

Blasting to resume at Cape Ray site, new company hired, says Emera

Emera Inc. says it has been given the go-ahead to resume blasting work at the Cape Ray site, months after a large rock smashed through a family home, narrowly missing a teenager.
Emera has been given the all-clear to resume blasting work at the Cape Ray site for the Maritime Link early next week, says Jeff Myrick. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Emera Inc. says it has been given the go-ahead to resume blasting work at the Cape Ray site in western Newfoundland, months after a large rock smashed through a family home, narrowly missing a teenager.

In August, a nearly seven-kilogram rock crashed through the kitchen ceiling of the Wall family's home, which is located 250 metres away from the blasting site for Emera's Maritime Link, a subsea cable part of the Muskrat Falls project.

They did not follow the proper procedures that had been outlined in their blasting plan.- Jeff Myrick

Jeff Myrick, with Emera Newfoundland and Labrador, said the company responsible for blasting has been replaced.

"It was clear that they did not follow the proper procedures that had been outlined in their blasting plan," he told CBC's Corner Brook Morning Show Friday

Emera had contracted work out to Marine Contracting, which in turn has sub-contracted the blasting work to Newfoundland Hard-Rok.

According to Myrick, the company didn't put proper the necessary measures in place to ensure that debris would not fly out of the hole when blasting happened. 

There is supposed to be an aggregate, like gravel or rock or blasting mats, put over the top of a hole to prevent anything from becoming airborne.

Family's home 'repaired immediately'

Myrick said damages have been paid to the Wall family to replace damaged property, as well as a neighbouring home where the siding was damaged from flying rocks.

The hole left in the roof of the Wall family's home was repaired "immediately," says Jeff Myrick, and damages have been paid. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

"Marine of course took full responsibility for the damage that was caused to the walls of the family's home and that was repaired immediately."

He said Marine has since hired a new blasting company, RCMI, and held a community meeting Tuesday night in Cape Ray to make sure everyone was on board for work to resume.

"We're now permitting Marine to start re-mobilizing back to the Cape Ray site, so that should happen early next week and from there they'll start proceeding back to working on the pad out near the lighthouse and then continuing to build the road," said Myrick.

Meanwhile, Myrick said Emera has "triple or quadrupled" the amount of supervision whenever any blasting will be done on the project.

Myrick said he's not sure what, if any, repucussions Newfoundland Hard-Rok faced under Occupational Health and Safety regulations, but added Emera has been given the clear.

The crews are working on building a transmission link that will carry hydroelectric energy — to be generated at Muskrat Falls in central Labrador — through Newfoundland and then to Nova Scotia through a separate subsea link. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.