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Government of New Brunswick revokes travel license exploitation of AIM in Saint-Jean

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Fire in the scrap yard of the AIM company in Saint -Jean, September 14, 2023.

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Three months after a major fire burned for two days at American Iron and Metal's (AIM) metal recycling center in Saint -Jean, in New Brunswick, the government decided on Friday to revoke the company's operating permit on this site.

In September, the Saint-Jean site fire burned for two days. It led to the closure of schools and the confinement of city residents to their homes due to fumes deemed toxic.

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A fire in a scrap metal pile forced the closure of several Saint-Jean schools on Thursday.

In early December, a task force released its report on the incident. As a result of their investigation, the group members were able to determine that AIM did not have an emergency plan and that the piles of metal exceeded the maximum permitted height, which represents a significant risk of explosion and fire.

According to the authors of the report, a new fire of the same type is very likely on this site. After the publication of this damning report, the Ministry of Public Security, responsible for the file, gave AIM until December 22 to respond. The company responded on the day of the deadline.

Since that date, Fredericton has been reviewing the scrap dealer's response before making its decision. The government ultimately concluded that AIM's response was insufficient.

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I am not convinced that AIM has adequately addressed these serious concerns. So it seems obvious to me that it is in the public interest to revoke the company's license.

A quote from Kris Austin, the Minister of Public Safety

The decision is final and is not subject to appeal, according to the press release. However, the company can pursue the decision in court. She has 90 days to do so.

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Public Safety Minister Kris Austin said AIM's response to the fire was inadequate.

In a letter addressed to AIM, also made public on Friday, Kris Austin justified his decision. He writes that the corrective measures the company intends to implement do not fundamentally take into account the numerous risks and impacts on the health, safety and environment of the community arising from the activities of the company. 'AIM on this site.

The minister also believes that the Quebec company is trying to minimize future risks and dangers, contesting the conclusions of the report task force and investigative reports and asserts that AIM's activities at this site are no worse than other industrial activities elsewhere.

The government's decision is a relief for Saint-Jean Mayor Donna Reardon. After the latest fire, she demanded that Fredericton revoke AIM's permit. She was delighted with the speed with which the decision was made.

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Saint-Jean Mayor Donna Reardon welcomes the government's quick decision regarding the AIM permit.

The Port of Saint-Jean, which owns the land leased by AIM, did not wish to comment on the decision, because the ;company can challenge it in court.

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The company AIM was fined for operating a metal recovery center without a valid license at its Moncton site.

In December, the government inspected all 87 scrap yards in the province. Ten sites did not comply with the law. Among these sites are three parks managed by AIM: a second company site in Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton.

With information from Shane Magee, CBC

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