Public hearing announced on Picton Terminal’s application for rezoning

UNDER WRAPS- Piles of road salt for winter driving applications are tarped in this November 29, 2017 ariel photo of Picton Terminals. The local deep port operation has pled guilty and was subsequently fined $27,500 for contravening the Environmental Protection Act in Picton’s provincial offences court  in July, 2018 (Picton Terminals photo)

A public hearing of Picton Terminal’s application for rezoning is scheduled for Oct. 24.

The link below takes you to all the many documents that have been filed with the County with this application.

The essentials of the proposal are:

Rezone the entire property to a site-specific Extractive Industrial zone which would allow:

    • Transhipment of road salt into their new covered structure
    • Transhipment of other bulk materials include dry bulk cargo such as aggregates, farming products, steel products, biomass, recycled scrap steel, wine barrels and other various bulk products. Transshipment may also include shipping containers containing – we don’t know what.
    • Uncovered open storage of bulk products (except salt which will soon be covered in a new structure)
    • Cruise ship and tour boat docking

Many of us have had concerns with Picton Terminals’ environmental record. They have a history of not handling the road salt in a satisfactory manner with the result that significant quantities end up in the bay including dangerous chemicals in the salt such as cyanide.

Stormwater management has never been completely resolved and Picton Terminals has been the subject of a number of officer’s and Director’s orders from Ministry of the Environment as recently as this summer.

The most recent is at the back of the document entitled Phase 2 Interim Action Plan. Picton Terminals always appeals these orders, promises remediation, and then seeks extensions. The salt pit is not yet covered, so this winter’s supply of salt will be on the surface, possibly tarped.

With respect to the cruise ship operation, there is almost no information about how this would work. Apparently passengers would get off the ship, be bused into Picton or elsewhere for day trips, then back on the ship – but numbers are unknown. The traffic study which is included in these documents does not take account of the cruise ship operation.

In my opinion, there are many unanswered questions and the lack of limits regarding what kind of products can be transshipped and stored in open uncovered storage raises environmental concerns given Picton Termials poor track record to date.

The meeting on October 24 is the first of 3 opportunities to hear about and comment on this proposal.

I encourage everyone who has an interest to study this material and come to the meeting to learn and ask questions and express concerns.

John Hirsch, Councillor, PEC

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