St. Marys Journal Argus
Green Arc Tire Corporation has decreased its first-phase production plans from 140 tonnes (approximately 14,000 tires) per day down to nine tonnes (approximately 900 tires) per day. And a spokesperson for the company, which aims to begin production of remanufactured tires at the former Dana factory on James Street South in St. Marys, predicts approval for the revised plan within a couple of months from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE).
An updated application for Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) from Green Arc, posted last week at the MOE’s Environmental Registry website, calls for the significant decrease in first-phase production, as well as a significant decrease in the amount of “waste and processed materials” to be stored on the site. And company spokesperson Danna O’Brien told the Journal Argus that Green Arc is now “in the last lap” of its efforts to win Ministry go-ahead.
“We’re looking at the new year, hopefully, for Green Arc to have its (MOE) approval,” O’Brien offered in an interview late last week.
A notice posted by the company in this week’s printed edition of the Journal Argus, however, advises that “Green Arc will apply for a revised ECA to increase production and storage requirements during the first year of operation.”
The original ECA application, posted in March, 2014, on the Environmental Registry website, cited plans to process “up to 140 tonnes per day of solid non-hazardous waste (tires),” and advised that “the total amount of waste and processed materials stored at the site will not exceed 5,500 tonnes at any time.”
The posting of that application to the MOE website initiated a 45-day public comment period that ended May 11. But after complaints from the public that they were not made sufficiently aware of the ECA application, the ministry’s Approvals Office said it would continue to receive public comments — by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 416-314-8001, or by mail at 2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A, Toronto ON, M4V1L5 — until a decision is made.
A separate ECA application was also posted in March, 2014, for the potential airborne effects of Green Arc’s operation. On the Environmental Registry website, that application remains unchanged.
By contrast, the application for potential solid waste effects has undergone significant changes, and been re-posted with a date of Dec. 2, 2014. A new 45-day public comment period has been initiated, and is set to wrap up Jan. 16, 2015.
According to O’Brien, Green Arc resubmitted the solid waste portion of its application to reflect a decreased target for the first phase of production. The new application, which can be viewed by visiting www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External and typing in “Green Arc” into the search bar, calls for “processing up to 9 tonnes per day (900 tires per day)” and “solid waste or processed materials that “will not exceed 247 tonnes (24,700 tires) at any time.”
Speaking to the Journal Argus late last week, O’Brien said she wanted to ensure that the public is able to wade through the potentially bureaucratic language used on the MOE website and achieve a full understanding of the company’s revised targets. To this end, the company has published a notice in this week’s edition of the Journal Argus outlining the information on the MOE website.
“When we first started discussing our plans, we had talked about upwards of three million tires,” she explained. “So the notice is really to put some clarity around the new numbers.”
Other elements of the solid waste portion of the ECA application are unchanged from the company’s original March, 2014 submission. This includes a statement that “site activities will include tire receiving and inspection, buffing, tire preparation (application of cement and new rubber), vulcanization and final inspection.”
The Green Arc published notice adds the following detail: “Green Arc intends to bring in used tires either generated within or outside the province to this facility to resurface the acceptable tires and then send these tires to distributors for sale to the general public.”
In addition, the notice outlines “major revisions” that were made to the waste portion of the ECA application. These include the decreased production target, but also the provision to the Ministry of “details regarding building fire protection” and “a detailed outline for an Emergency Management Plan that will be finalized within three months of issuing an ECA.”
O’Brien expressed confidence that the revised application will meet with MOE approval.
“It has been a very lengthy process over the past year,” said O’Brien, who was part of an original Green Arc media announcement in November, 2013, predicting the eventual creation of 340 jobs when full production is reached. “We’re anxious to move forward . . . As soon as we get that approval, we’re going to begin the process of creating jobs and moving ahead with business.”