New Brunswick suspends operating authorization for AIM recycling plant pending fire review – New Brunswick

A recycling plant in Saint John, New Brunswick, which was the site of a ma*sive fire that triggered a citywide air quality warning, has been ordered to cease its activities until a thorough investigation and review is completed.

Premier Blaine Higgs and Port Saint John CEO Craig Bell Estabrooks said in a news release Monday that a joint task force would be appointed to investigate last week’s fire at American Iron & Metal (AIM).

Port Saint John is also investigating whether the company complied with the terms of its lease.

The fire at the recycling plant broke out at 1 a.m. last Thursday, amid a pile of crushed cars.

Dr. Rita Gad, the region’s acting medical officer of health, said the plume and smoke were likely filled with chemicals and contaminants. Later in the day, the City of Saint John and New Brunswick Public Health issued a stay-at-home advisory for all of Saint John.

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Saint John Mayor Donna Reardon said last week the fire was the size of three football fields and reached about three stories at its peak, leaving a pungent odor in the air.

The fire was brought under control the next day.

Port Saint John said it has restricted activities at the terminal where the fire occurred and is only allowing emergency operations related to site stabilization.

“The Province of New Brunswick remains committed to ensuring that a full and thorough investigation takes place,” Higgs said in Monday’s release.

“We are very grateful that no one was injured on site during the incident.”

Company management released a statement a day after the fire, saying the safety and well-being of employees and the public was “paramount” to them.

“We will continue to work with local authorities to determine the cause of the incident and, if necessary, put in place additional measures to mitigate the risk of this happening again,” the statement said.

“We are sorry for the impact of this incident on residents and the community. Our team is committed to keeping residents and stakeholders informed as we move forward.

— with a file from The Canadian Press

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