Baie Verte Citizens Continue to Question Irving Gas Filling Station
Baie Verte Residents continue questioning of proposed Natural Gas Station
Baie Verte citizens gathered again this week to question the safety and location of a proposed natural gas filling station in their farming community. A land lot has been purchased just off the westerly exit of Copp Loop Road on Route 16, with plans to remove the existing house, shrubs and trees in order to build a natural gas filling station for trucks, about one truck every 2 hours, according to James Vaughan, VP Health, Safety and Environment with Irving Group.
Doug Dean, project manager for J.D. Irving, Ltd confirmed that the site had been chosen because it had year round access, no weight restrictions, was no more than 8 feet from Maritime and North East Pipeline delivery plant, and 50 miles from Cavendish Farms.
Dean confirmed in detail the safety regulations of the plant, and presented photos of other filling stations that had residential properties nearby. Dean said that there are already trucks on the road that carry larger quantities of explosive material, such as gasoline trucks.
Dean also presented slides to support his argument that real estate values would not decrease in the area, but only showed examples of real estate prices near filling stations in urban areas. Wayne and Louise Phinney, who live within one km of the proposed site, were not convinced. Louise Phinney pointed out that what was missing from his presentation were real estate prices before and after a filling station had been built.
Residents continued to show resistance to the project, saying that the proposed filing station is not appropriate for the green hills of Baie Verte and would be more appropriately located in the Scoudouc Industrial Park only 30 minutes away.
Ross Fisher, from the Department of Transportation, gave a lengthy description of highway road legislation that concluded with the point that Copp Loop Road is an unrestricted road. Fisher also presented studies done to measure stopping and turning sight distances to prove that the trucks had enough space to pull out onto the road safely.
But Baie Verte residents are concerned that this stretch of highway is already dangerous, with three blind hills in a row, and Stephen Werry told Dean that he was making a formal objection to the plan, saying that a traffic study plan was essential. Another resident concluded the queries by saying, “If this station was a good idea, then we would not be here talking about it”.