Opposition asks P.E.I. PCs to commit to talks on Charlottetown propane facility's relocation

·1 min read
This Irving-owned propane facility is located in a growing area of Charlottetown. Many people would like to see it moved. (Brian HIggins/CBC - image credit)
This Irving-owned propane facility is located in a growing area of Charlottetown. Many people would like to see it moved. (Brian HIggins/CBC - image credit)

The provincial public safety minister says he will look into the possibility of moving a propane storage terminal located in a Charlottetown neighbourhood.

City residents living nearby the Irving Energy Bulk Plant on Allen Street have been calling for it to be moved for decades amid safety concerns. But all campaigns to do so have been unsuccessful.

Green MLA Hannah Bell, who represents the area, brought up the issue again at the legislature on Thursday.

"That high-risk industrial site is sitting in the middle of a busy mixed-use urban residential area," Bell said.

"The core issue that seems to be holding up any meaningful conversation or movement about this site is that it's owned by the Irvings. And no one wants to step into that minefield."

The facility stores and distributes propane around the region. It was established about five decades ago when the area was lightly populated. But the neighbourhood around it has grown since then.

Bell said it was "unacceptable" the terminal remains within city limits and asked Justice and Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson whether the government would commit to talk relocation with the company.

Thompson replied that she raised a "valid point."

"I frequently drive by that place all the time, and I do agree with her 100 per cent," he said. "I will commit to reaching out to the parties involved and see if we can come up with a solution."

In 2012, the facility suffered from a major spill that prompted calls from local politicians for it to be moved.

Irving Oil says on its website it has a rigorous emergency management program in place to prevent such incidents, and that there are also procedures to respond to them in the unlikely event they happen.

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