Styrolutions appeal to be heard July 12

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The Ontario Land Tribunal says INEOS Stryolutions’ appeal of the orders which shut down its Sarnia plant will be heard July 12.

May 1 – 15 days after high levels of benzene in the air sickened members of the the Aamjiwnaang First Nation – the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, pulled the company’s Environmental Compliance Approval certificate shutting the plant down.

The order required the removal of all benzene storage from the site.

The province also ordered installation of full vapour control equipment which were later mirrored by the federal government which announced an interim order May 17.

May 15, lawyers for INEOS Styrolutions filed an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal which now hears cases regarding MECP orders calling them “crippling.”

    The company, through its lawyers, also disagrees with the ministry’s order to “cease accepting and storing benzene at the Site by May 15…emptying the tanks is not achievable in a safe manner due to the extent of activities required and absence of off-site storage tanks,” the lawyers write in the request for an appeal.

      Styrolutions submitted an alternative start up plan May 8 which lawyers say “is a more viable, safer, and environmentally sounder alternative to the requirements.” The company says that plan, along with air monitoring plan “form an alternative and effective plan for re-starting the facility and continued storage of benzene in an environmentally sound and safe manner, while minimizing off-site impacts to local community including the neighbouring Aamjiwnaang First Nation, as well as impacts to our industrial partners within the cluster.”

      The lawyers also ask for a stay of the suspension of its Environmental Compliance Approval certificate – which is keeping the company from producing styrene – while the legal arguments are being heard.

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