The Whitbourne Fire Department has been instructed by the town’s mayor not to respond to any incidents at an industrial composting site proposed for a location three kilometres from the town.
Metro Environmental Services is proposing an industrial composting facility on the Argentia Access Road to compost mink and chicken offal as well as waste salmon from the new Grieg aquaculture development in Placentia Bay.
Fire Chief Jamie Budden says the company’s Emergency Response Plan is inadequate and appears to rely on his fire department and that of Norman’s Cove which is 30 km away. He says neither department is trained or equipped for industrial compost hazmat response. Budden says the fire department will be contacting the Environment Minister to let him know the proposal needs a detailed Emergency Response Plan.
In the meantime, Mayor Hilda Whelan has instructed the fire department not to respond to the facility. She says the town is dead set against the proposal which initially involved a single, enclosed building. Whelan says that has now been changed to three smaller buildings and outdoor wind-rows, something she says will create a smell and attract flies. The deadline for public comment is May 18.