The Port of Belledune’s moves to buy a soil waste incinerator that never opened has the citizens of the northern New Brunswick community of Belledune breathing a sigh of relief. The Port of Belledune has confirmed that they have exercised a $100,000 option to purchase Bennett Environmental’s waste incinerator.
“If the sale goes through as expected, the citizens around the Bay of Chaleur will have every reason to hold a celebration. It was their dedication and hard work in organizing opposition to the incinerator that contributed to the failure of this unsustainable project”, said Peggy Gordon of the Belledune Citizens Commitee.
The incinerator, the subject of mass protests and defamation lawsuits against environmental activists, never received the appropriate approvals from the province to operate. Bennett Environmental reported on March 16th that “the proposed sale of the property to the option holder includes an explicit non-compete agreement. The facility cannot be used for the thermal treatment of contaminated soil.”
“The expected end of the incinerator may also be the final chapter of the Renviro Park saga,” added Florian Levesque from Environnement Vie. “Like the recent failed NB Power/Hydro Quebec deal, Renviro Park constituted a perfect example of the dangers of giving business executives and elected officials exclusive rights to negotiate economic development for its citizens. People must remain vigilant and be part of any type of economic development planning”, added Levesque.
The incinerator cost an estimated $30 million to build. A large portion of the construction costs was funded by the Canada Pension Plan through their Investment Fund. The Canada Pension Plan has recently come under attack for funding what critics say are projects associated with environmental and human rights abuses. The Canada Pension Plan has received many letters from those concerned with the Goldcorp mine in Guatemala.