Bomb­ing con­cerns

Har­bour Grace wants wa­ter bombers to con­sider other lakes

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYNICHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Of­fi­cials with the Town of Har­bour Grace have ex­pressed con­cern over the us­age of Lady Lake as a re­fill­ing sta­tion for wa­ter bombers.

The is­sue was brought up by town coun­cil­lors Joan Short and David Mur­phy at a May 11 pub­lic meet­ing.

Both feared what would hap­pen if, dur­ing a re­fill­ing run, the plane was in­volved in an accident and fuel were to get spilled into Lady Lake, which feeds into Ban­ner­man Lake, the town’s wa­ter sup­ply.

The is­sue came to light af­ter a for­est fire broke in nearby Spa­niard’s Bay on April 22 that re­quired the us­age of the wa­ter bombers from the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

Har­bour Grace town man­ager Lester For­ward ob­served two planes “go­ing full tilt” and re­fill­ing at Lady Lake that af­ter­noon.

The next morn­ing, For­ward sent off an email to Floyd Barnes, an en­vi­ron­men­tal spe­cial­ist with the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Con­ser­va­tion who han­dles the Con­cep­tion Bay North area, rais­ing the town’s con­cerns.

The re­sponse from en­vi­ron­ment, ac­cord­ing to For­ward, was not a con­cern be­cause it was not the lake that the town’s wa­ter comes from.

“I’m not sat­is­fied with that an­swer and I’m still go­ing for­ward,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me, be­cause if that plane, God for­bid, was to crash there and all of the fuel went into Lady Lake, that will go into Ban­ner­man Lake and into our wa­ter sup­ply.”

The town con­tends that there are other op­tions avail­able to pi­lots when choos­ing bod­ies of wa­ter.

For­ward said there is a pond in River­head that would have been more suit­able for us­age given its closer prox­im­ity to the fire.

Coun­cil­lors ques­tioned whether it was pos­si­ble for planes to use ei­ther of the bays in ei­ther Har­bour Grace or Spa­niard’s Bay as re­fill­ing points.

For Har­bour Grace, it is not a new is­sue. The town has con­tacted en­vi­ron­ment in the past, voic­ing its con­cern with the planes us­ing Lady Lake.

A health is­sue

Of­fi­cials fear an en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter is pos­si­ble if such an accident were to oc­cur.

“Hav­ing bac­te­ria in the wa­ter is one thing. That can be re­moved, but hy­dro­car­bons in wa­ter, I don’t know what the cure is,” said For­ward. “I don’t think there is one.”

For­ward said any leak­age into the wa­ter would be “a ma­jor set­back” and a “se­ri­ous prob­lem” for Har­bour Grace.

Deputy Mayor Ches Ash said he’s re­ceived nu­mer­ous com­plaints of house­hold garbage not be­ing picked up, and “I can’t see why it is be­ing left be­hind.”

Slade said town lead­ers and em­ploy­ees are spend­ing a great deal of time field­ing com­plaints.

“It ’ s e a t i n g awa y a t o u r re­sources,” the mayor said.

Sev­eral coun­cil­lors sug­gested the is­sue is hin­der­ing ef­forts to beau­tify the town, and there is “no rhyme or rea­son” as to why some items are not be­ing col­lected.

“If it’s small enough to be put in a bag, it should be taken,” said Slade.

Se­nior of­fi­cials with the town met with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the com­pany on Thurs­day, May 31, and­town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis said it went “very well.”

The owner of the com­pany, Dave Lynch, has been deal­ing with some med­i­cal prob­lems, she ex­plained, and is now back to work.

“He will be ad­dress­ing the con­cerns of coun­cil ,” Davis stated, adding that the com­pany is also ready for its role in the curb­side re­cy­cling pro­gram.

Mayor Slade also de­scribed the meet­ing as “very pro­duc­tive,” and of­fered as­sur­ances that the ser­vice would im­prove.

“He was gen­tle­manly about it, ad was very oblig­ing,” Slade said of the com­pany owner.

The com­pany is a main­stay in the re­gion in terms of the col­lec­tion of house­hold waste, and has sim­i­lar con­tracts with sev­eral neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing Up­per Is­land Cove and Spa­niard’s Bay.

An of­fi­cial with the Town of Spa­niard’s Bay, when ap­prised of th e s i tua t i o n i n C a rbon­ear, ex­pressed sur­prise.

“We get the usual types of calls, but we haven’t had a prob­lem,” said the Spa­niard’s Bay town coun­cil­lor.

Win­ston Trick­ett, who lives on South­side Lower Road in Car­bon­ear, said he has “no prob­lem” with the ser­vice.

In fact, he de­scribed the em­ploy­ees as “very co-op­er­a­tive.”

Mean­while, no one with Lynch’s Truck­ing En­ter­prises was avail­able for comment.

Sur­veil­lance cam­eras in place

Town of­fi­cials have con­firmed that sev­eral sur­veil­lance cam­eras are now in place at some lo­ca­tions known to be used by il­le­gal dumpers.

Mayor Slade sin­gled out the Fox Farm and Line Road as ar­eas of spe­cial con­cern.

“We need to make a state­ment,” Slade said.

Pic­tures from the cam­eras were de­scribed as “very clear” mak­ing it pos­si­ble to iden­tify dumpers and the li­cence plates of sus­pect ve­hi­cles.

Il­le­gal dump­ing has be­come a se­ri­ous prob­lem in the re­gion, and other towns have turned to cam­eras as a way of curb­ing the prob­lem.

The Town of Con­cep­tion Bay South re­cently went pub­lic with pic­tures of an al­leged il­le­gal dumper, and charges have been laid.

The de­vices are called “trail cam­eras,” and are mo­tion ac­ti­vated. En­force­ment of­fi­cer Gord Par­sons said the cam­eras take three frames per sec­ond, and sev­eral can be placed in a lo­ca­tion in order to en­sure ad­e­quate cov­er­age.

The town has pur­chased five cam­eras, as a cost of roughly $500 each.

Par­sons said the cam­eras can be used for other pur­poses, in­clud­ing mon­i­tor­ing parks and the new St. Pa­trick’s Com­mu­nity Gar­den. He said they are also ef­fec­tive at night.

Amend­ment pro­posed to ve­hi­cle reg­u­la­tions

A no­tice of mo­tion was briefly dis­cussed about pro­posed changes to the reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing the park­ing of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles in a res­i­den­tial area.

Coun­cil is ex­pected to vote on an amend­ment at its next meet­ing. If ap­proved, it will limit the num­ber of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles parked on a res­i­den­tial prop­erty to one.

Cur­rently, the reg­u­la­tions are spe­cific to com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles that carry haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als such as fuel oil.

The new reg­u­la­tions will tar­get larger ve­hi­cles such as buses, dump trucks and other heavy equip­ment. Light duty pick­ups and vans will not be in­cluded.

edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Sub­mit­ted photo

A wa­ter bomber drops its load onto a brush fire in Spa­niard’s Bay last month.

Car­bon­ear’s David Kennedy has been named a mem­ber of the Team NL mis­sion staff that will travel to the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Que­bec.

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Kevin Power (left) of East­ern Waste Man­age­ment dis­cusses the op­er­a­tion of a waste re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity (WRF) with Car­bon­ear town coun­cil­lors Ed Goff, Ray Noel and Betty For­ward (right). Power gave a pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil at its May 28 coun­cil meet­ing, touch­ing on top­ics such as curb­side re­cy­cling, haz­ardous waste man­age­ment and il­le­gal dump­ing. Power was un­able to pro­vide an update on when a new WRF pro­posed for Har­bour Grace is to be up and run­ning.

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