March 20, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - The 180-day public participation process to renew the air quality operating approval for the Irving Oil Ltd. refinery in Saint John is underway. Environment Minister Roland Haché made the announcement today.
The Public Participation Regulation under the Clean Air Act requires that a public participation process be conducted before the issuance or renewal of approvals to operate for Class 1 sources of emissions.
This process involves a number of information requirements and minimum time frames in relation to the public review, including a 120-day public comment period running from Friday, March 20, to Friday, July 17. All comments should be submitted in writing.
"We encourage the public to take part in this process," Haché said. "It is an opportunity to learn more about this facility."
The process covers air quality-related issues, including questions or comments regarding air emissions, pollution-control equipment, conditions proposed in the draft approval, monitoring and reporting requirements, and information on enforcement and compliance. Information on how to get documentation or provide comments during the review is available online or at any Department of Environment office.
The refinery, built on farm land in 1959 in east Saint John, opened July 20, 1960. At the time, the refinery was designed to process 38,500 barrels of crude oil per day. Two new process areas, constructed in 1976, resulted in the refinery becoming the largest in Canada with a processing capacity of 266,000 barrels of crude per day.
The refinery produces a range of fuels for transportation (ultra-low sulphur gasoline, ultra-low sulphur diesel, jet fuel) and combustion applications (home heating oil, kerosene, Bunker C). Other fuels produced for use in more specialized combustion and transportation applications include butane and propane. The heaviest components of crude oil are used in asphalt, sold for paving.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, communications, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.