Confusion still reigns on Pope Road depot issue

Amber Nicholson
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SUMMERSIDE  - Ten days after a public meeting was held for Pope Road residents to clarify the situation of a new waste removal company setting up shop in their area, much remains unclear.

Provincial government representatives ended the public meeting on Jan. 24 reassuring Summerside residents that they would carry their concerns back to the Province.

The Province is now claiming the ball is in the city's court and vice versa.

"(Minister of Environment Richard Brown) has stated that the proponent must send a written letter to the city seeking permit approval," said a spokesperson for the department. "The city must determine whether or not (Label Construction and Sanitation) meets the requirements of the city."

Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart says the city has yet to receive a letter from Label Construction owner Dean Crosby. In the meantime, Stewart has written his own letter.

"We sent a letter to the minister asking for a copy of the phase two environmental impact assessment. I asked for it at the meeting and they said I had to request that so this is my request," said Stewart.

Stewart said the city and its residents were left confused following the public meeting during which Crosby claimed an environmental impact assessment was performed on the Pope Road site and Department of Environment representative Greg Wilson claimed there was not an EIA completed.

A spokesperson for the Environment Department said Wednesday that there was not an environmental impact assessment performed, "there was an environmental audit carried out on the property...done in relation to the sale of the property." Adding, "An environmental audit is very different than an environmental impact assessment."

A spokesperson for the Transportation Department said Thursday that yes, there was an environmental impact assessment performed stating, "the date of the last environmental assessment was January 2008. It was a phase three environmental assessment."

Stewart also requested in his letter to the Province that if there are still underground oil tanks in place at the Pope Road location that they be removed. The mayor said he was made aware of the underground oil tanks by a resident at the recent public meeting.

"We're very concerned and we're trying to find out the information for the residents," said Stewart. "I think it's important."

Island Waste Management stated that Superior Sanitation's waste removal services contract for Summerside ended on Dec. 31 and Label Construction and Sanitation's contract began on Jan.1. A staff member at Label Construction and Sanitation's head office in Charlottetown confirmed on Wednesday that the company has begun its waste removal services in Summerside.

Organizations: Label Construction, Department of Environment, Transportation Department

Geographic location: SUMMERSIDE, Charlottetown

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