Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman says his department is closely monitoring the American Iron and Metal operation on the west side of the port. The shredder operation was the site of a large explosion last night that rattled windows and shook buildings. The bang was felt as far away as the Public Gardens area near Rockwood Park.
In an email statement to newsysj.ca – Crossman says last night’s explosion was below the 104 decibel noise threshold in the company’s short term Approval to Operate. That approval stipulates noise level exceeding the 104 decibels requires AIM to cease operations. The statement goes on to say certain weather conditions can cause sounds from the facility – including explosions – to seem louder than they are.
Crossman says “the occurrence of this type of event is understandably unsettling to residents and our team will continue to review the conditions of AIM’s approval, including the implementation of a noise action plan.”
Last night’s explosion around 5:30 was the strongest in a series at the site over the past month or so. That follows a major blaze in an area near the shredder in late September. The company became a lightening rod in late 2018 as a result of a series of loud explosions – rust dust – and noise during the shredding process as well as loading ships. A citizens group was formed and worked with politicians at all levels. The company formed a Community Liaison Committee and progress had been made to address a number of concerns.