Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's wrong site for wastewater plant: O'Leary

City Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary says St. John's harbour is the wrong place for an offshore wastewater treatment plant.
St. John's city councillor Sheilagh O'Leary says the harbourfront is the wrong site for a proposed wastewater treatment plant.

City Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary says St. John's harbour is the wrong place for an offshore wastewater treatment plant.

Nova Scotia-based Encanex Environmental Oil and Gas Corp. wants to set up the plant at the eastern end of St. John's harbour, just below Battery Road.

If approved, the facility would accept waste from offshore drilling operations, including petroleum hydrocarbons, related metals and oil. The treated wastewater would then be released into the city's storm or sanitary sewer system.

This image from the website of Encanex shows wastewater treatment. (Encanex)

O'Leary said such an operation is not suited to St. John's, especially with recent efforts to spruce up the harbour area.

"It should be somewhere closer to a facility like Come By Chance, not in a dense urban area. We have just had a huge amount of discussion in our municipal plan review about the whole process of how we're [going to] make our downtown and our harbourfront more liveable," she said.

Newfoundland and Labrador's Environment and Conservation department is reviewing the proposal. The deadline for public input is Dec.7, while the minister's decision is due by Dec. 16.

Encanex said its operations, if approved, could start as early as Jan.1, creating up to five new jobs.