About 50 people were in attendance last night, as Nova Chemicals held their fall community open house to give area residents an update on facility and business updates for the Joffre facility.
The snow had just began to fall, but it was warm inside Haynes Hall, as representatives from the Joffre facility treated visitors to refreshments and an overview of their facility, everything from a safety and environmental perspective, to new projects on the horizon.
Manufacturing Director for Nova Chemicals West and Site Leader Rick Van Hemmen says Nova Chemicals always tries to keep communication lines open with the public and open houses like last night are a big part of that.
“How are we doing from a safety and environmental perspective, what might be coming up in terms of new projects, there’s always a different slate of things that we update on whenever we come. But really the primary purpose of these open houses is to hear what the community has to say. What kind of questions do they want answered, what suggestions do they have, do they have concerns we might not have heard through our normal channels.”
Some of the questions asked by the public included their thoughts about how the hurricanes down south affected railway transportation, and if they can talk to CN rail about railway crossing distributions, due to loading and unloading at the plant.
Van Hemmen says this year they are also reviewing their annual environmental report, which is due to be submitted to the government for their permit renewal for the site, which is renewed every ten years.
“We are already well into preparing for that submission, and that causes us to look back over the entire last decade, and show what our performance has been. It has to do with air emissions, water emissions, things like that, to make sure we are staying well within regulations and always continuing to improve.”
They also received praise from local 4-H groups, who thanked Nova Chemicals for their continued support.
The Joffre plant employees over 700 people and is one the largest ethylene and polyethylene production facilities in the world.