American Iron & Metal operation on west side of port.

American Iron and Metal is fighting back in the face of the latest round of criticism over explosions at its west side shredder operation.

In a response published on the company’s Facebook page – Atlantic and Maine General Manager M:ichael Cormier says the company has stepped up quality control to inspect for “unauthorized or objectionable materials.” Cormier says the company works with suppliers to educate them on the need to remove any hazardous materials before shipping – and – has imposed financial penalties when hazardous materials have been in a load.

Cormier says the ongoing efforts have been successful in reducing the number of explosions from a peak of 53 in 2018 to 32 last year and 28 so far this year. He says the company is working with the community through its Community Liaison Committee made up of company reps – residents – and representatives from the city – Public Health – and the Environment Department.

The General Manager also says the company has a positive impact on the community by providing jobs and supporting local businesses and organizations. He also says there is a positive impact for the environment by diverting goods for recycling that would otherwise end up in landfills.

The response comes after two explosions in less than a week – the second one yesterday that exceeded noise levels forcing the operation to shut down – and – prior to council approving a motion last night to send a letter to provincial and federal officials calling for stricter regulations and enforcement at the site. Mayor Don Darling also told council he has a phone call today with AIM.

The complete response can be found here.