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Picton Terminals ordered by ministry to clean up

picton-terminalsThe Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has issued more than a dozen work orders to the Picton Terminals shipping port.

The orders – related to contamination of water, air and ground – follow complaints by neigbours and other members of a newly-formed Save Picton Bay group.

“The government has now concluded these people are polluters,” said Eric Gillespie, legal counsel for the new group.

The orders, with compliance throughout this month, relate to the storage piles of salt and its stormwater runoff, dust and spills from petroleum coke (used in cement making); plans and measures to prevent discharge and removal of contaminants, descriptions of drainage, and storage piles.

The deep marine dockage for shipping and receiving bulk cargo is located at 62 White Chapel Road. It was purchased by the Doornekamp family in 2014 following decades of non-use and is working to expand to load and unload 100 ships per year. It’s cargo usually includes road salt, aggregates, farming products, steel, biomass and wine barrels.

Bob Bird, director of the Save Picton Bay group, said the community organization represents people from across the County concerned about the proposal to expand its operations.

“The government has now had to order them to stop harming our resources. Why anyone would welcome them or want this operation in our County is beyond me,” he said.

PTL was under fire recently from neighbours complaining about the contaminants polluting the water and land and covering their properties with “petcoke” dust.

A report from Victor Castro, surface water scientist, made five conclusions and recommendations, including the finalization of a stormwater management plan.

His report noted the water samples collected showing high levels of choloride and sodum, exceeding toxicity thresholds for freshwater organisms.

He stated additional concerns relate to cumulative loading of salt due to its proximity to Picton Bay, the drinking water source for the town of Picton, and to an increase in chloride concentrations in Lake Ontario, which reports indicate has seen levels steadily increase since the mide 19th century.

His report stated that through discussions with PTL, “the port has made a number of recent improvements for docking, transfer and storage of products and has participated in discussions with the ministry to address stormwater management.”

Ministry provincial officer Shannon Kelly confirmed contraventions of the Environmental Protection Act and in her report, summarized visits to PTL since May, leading up to the order.

She stated that in the absence of an appropriate remedial and monitoring program, off site contamination may continue to occur and migrate off the site and onto adjacent properties where adverse effects related to soil, groundwater and surface water impacts may occur, or have already occurred.

Picton Terminals is in the process of re-zoning from quarry to shipyard. An email to Picton Terminals for further comment has not yet been answered.

Below, the orders from the MOECC:

Click here for The Save Picton Bay public group Facebook page. 

Click here for The Picton Terminals Limited website. 


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  1. Fred says:

    Hope it is a massive turnout and Council attends as well. They have a responsibility to here the people.

  2. Susan says:

    Meeting for everyone to discuss this mess at the Picton Town Hall, November 26th @ 2:00 pm.

  3. wevil says:

    TIRED it seems you have something against a smaller operation trying to get going do you see containers of garbage there it is speculation on the part of PT that they will get a contract to ship garbage

  4. Tired says:

    They do own more property, what is your point they pay a pile of taxes and it is not because how much property they own it is their infrastructure. PT will never have any large building that generate taxes but they will have big piles and lots of containers of garbage that generate no taxes if they have their way.

  5. wevil says:

    Tired the cement plant owns far more property to pay taxes on than the terminal

  6. Emily says:

    So why is the Mayor so supportive of this?

  7. Tired says:

    OK lets say that PT gets its act together and becomes a responsible corporate neighour. They will be putting hundreds of trucks on our county roads and still only employee a couple of people who will likely live in Kingston and still only pay less than $7000.00 a year in property taxes. Is this what some people in the county (INCLUDING THE MAYOR)think is good for the county? Because all tax payers in the county are going to pay to maintain the roads that PT will pound into the ground. At lease the cement plant pays over $1000000.00 a year in salary’s and over $250000.00 a year in property tax along with other fees to the province for water usage and a fee per ton for rock removed. PT 7 grand a year, what a deal

  8. Chuck says:

    So how are they going to remediate neighbouring properties, soil, surface water, ground water? How do they get the chloride & sodium out of the Bay? How can a rezoning ever be contemplated with these serious environmental issues as indicated by the MOE being outstanding?

  9. Paul says:

    I agree with the environmental issues, BUT if Picton Terminals can comply with the MOE orders and be a responsible environmentally conscience business I think it could be beneficial to The County with a few jobs at the Port and potential spin off jobs. Is it the answer to Prince Edward Counties financial struggles, likely not but its a start. Industry is needed in The County alongside tourism to benefit County Folks in many ways jobs, lower taxes, infrastructure upgrades/repairs.

  10. Dennis Fox says:

    There are a number of issues that need to addressed – chances are development that took place years ago (i.e. cement plant) would have been dealt with much differently today, if they were applying for zoning for approval. Regardless of what past zoning was in place for the terminal, it was removed and rezoned during the 2006 Consolidation By-law process. They now need to apply for a re-zoning and it will be dealt with (or should be) by applying the new environmental standards. By challenging the extension of the old use and expressing concerns about the (now proven) environmental violations is not being a NIMBY – it is being proven that the opposition to this terminal has been right all along. This argument of – “we need the jobs” is a shallow one and the facts show that not many jobs will be created locally. Jobs and industry are short lived – our environment is meant to last a life time and people’s health is irreplaceable – thus both are more important than someone’s port terminal job. Let’s get our priorities straight.

  11. Susan says:

    Topic is the Terminal. Has it brought jobs or harm to our harbour? Have they polluted? Have they harmed the neighborhood? Have they demonstrated good management responsibility? All points that will be presented at the planning meeting.

  12. wevil says:

    every year the cement plant contravenes MOE regulations and is fined for it do you want it shut down as well a lot of people would be out of work i suppose it would be better for the tourists if it was shut down eh what would happen if a wild fire burned everything at the sandbanks park so much for the tourist trade it seems thats all we want here

  13. Susan says:

    More than a dozen violations prior to coming to a Planning meeting for rezoning! This non fitting proposal needs to be shut down quickly and smartly. I don’t understand the Mayor supporting this at the get go without understanding the impacts.

  14. Gary says:

    No. And you answered nothing. Polluters avoidance perhaps.

  15. Paul says:

    Gary are you familiar with Non Conformity ? Picton Terminals has been used a Port since Bethlehem Steel built it in the 50s. People who bought property in the area should have practiced due diligence…. AGAIN I ask

    Gary if Picton Terminals becomes compliant with the Ministries orders and is no longer a threat to the things you mention would you support Picton Terminals ? This should be interesting…..

  16. Gary says:

    Paul; Do you feel the Terminal has gotten off to a really good start? Do you feel comfortable with the contamination thus far? Would you feel good about owning a neighbouring property with an impacted well? Are you comfortable with the County allowing them to operate outside of approved zoning? Are you now comfortable with the liability your Municipal Government has now taken on through not upholding the existing bylaws?

  17. Paul says:

    Well Dennis Fox… Maybe you Sir should run for Council. Lets look up the creek a little further a dump and two cemeteries that drain directly into Delhi creek which in turn runs into the bay what about that. Gary if Picton Terminals becomes compliant with the Ministries orders and is no longer a threat to the things you mention would you support Picton Terminals ? This should be interesting…..

  18. hockeynan says:

    Sit on a boat right at the head of the bay in Picton harbouron a nice day in the summer and take a deep breath and tell me there are no contaminates flowing into the bay from our sewage system.It smells like you have a washing machine hose stuck in your nose.The joke on the water is that you can walk on the water in Picton harbour and has been that way for years so forget the Picton terminal as it has been idle for years.Also the water flows out of the harbour and not in

  19. Gary says:

    Legitimate concern regarding contaminants effect on property,the Bay, wells and municipal water supply does not make a Nimby.

  20. Dennis Fox says:

    One person states – they “hope PT can comply with the MOE orders”, and then another wants people “to stop picking on someone who wants to make a business.” If this is the depth of thinking going into this development,then many need to stop and re-examine brain function. I hope these two are at the front of the line when it comes to paying for a new water intake pipe, paying for the currently needed upgrades to the new sewage plant because of sludge coming in from the harbour and can explain to all the water users and surrounding homeowners how they have all the answers to protect their health from the pollution created by Picton Terminals… They should run for office!

  21. Dave S says:

    And one more thing. Look at the picture up top of this story. The salt is shown uncovered. It sat there uncovered for 40 days after its delivery on Sept.12 despite Picton Terminals’ promise to MOECC to cover it in 10 days. It’s all in the Report.

    Lets Save Picton Bay!

  22. Dave S says:

    If you want to read the Provincial Officer’s Order, please go to the Save Picton Bay Facebook group. The Order and the Report are posted in the files section. Both make good reading. The Report documents repeated pollution offenses and broken promises extending back over a year. It also reports that the construction of a rainwater control system approved by MOECC is being blocked by the County.

    Picton Terminals will only create 2 (yes, that’s right) jobs here in PEC. They paid less than $7000 in taxes in 2015.

  23. hockeynan says:

    How come you are complaining know.why didn’t you stop this 25 years ago.Quit picking on someone who wants to make a bussiness

  24. Paul says:

    Just another example of nimby’s using the environment to roadblock industry in The County. Hopefully Picton Terminals can comply with the MOE orders…

  25. MICHAEL says:

    Tanya and dave- do either of you really understand the complete situation? Peoples wells are now contaminated because of the lack of environment controls. There will not be any abundance of new jobs. You need to know ALL the facts before making these type of ridiculous comments.

  26. Chuck says:

    Dennis & Mark have nailed the points on this. There is no place that makes sense for this in our harbour!

  27. Dennis Fox says:

    I really don’t understand some of you – protecting the environment should be everyone’s concern. To suggest that it is only the new people who only want to complain about the terminal is absurd. The problem is that our local council knows full well that this terminal has violated not only provincial regulations, it has also violated municipal by-laws. The question needs to be asked – why haven’t the by-laws been enforced to protect both the environment and surrounding homeowners? The idea that turning a blind eye is good for business is stupid thinking – if the water supply is ruined and the environments has been destroyed by abusing it -just how good is that for business? Obviously it is not – if it is bad for the environment, then it is bad business practice. One depends on the other to be successful. This is not rocket science, except for politicians who are too anal to get it.

  28. hockeynan says:

    What about the cement plant?It is only down the road

  29. Fred says:

    I do believe the harbour is significantly polluted now. I think the heavy metals on the floor are from when it used to be a shipping port. In the old days the waters were a dumping ground. We have learned since then that water needs to be protected.

  30. lucy says:

    the other issues are its polluting the residents homes and property beside. One house has salt all in their wells and there is that black soot all over their house

  31. wevil says:

    there does not seem to be anything that is done in this county that will please some people all they want is tourists picton harbour has been polluted for many decades many times the harbour got heavy metals when the old sewage plant would spill its joy to the harbour much of the pollutants were caused by the stuff residents flushed example many people flushed medications and still do the harbour has been a sewage trap for many years it did not just happen

  32. Susan says:

    If the terminal is granted rezoning it will come to no good end. It makes no environmental sense.

  33. Still on the fence says:

    Are the Appendix mentioned in the Provincial Officer’s Order available? It is helpful to review all the information when considering if the mistakes, orders, and corrections are all reasonable and typical of large industrial operations.

  34. Mark says:

    It is absurd that Council would risk polluting the harbour and threatening the municipal water supply. Water is our most precious resource and nothing can live without it.

  35. Bruce says:

    Tanya, please reread the article all the way through. Are a few jobs worth taking the chance of polluting the bay water with toxic waste? Toxic waste is one of the things they will be storing and hauling away from the terminal. It’s an accident waiting to happen. Think about it!

  36. Dave says:

    Too bad that all the imports want the county to remain their paradise.
    I cannot see any company wanting to locate in the county with all the B.S. They have to go through every time they want to build or expand. Meanwhile costs go up as population gets older with no tax base to support them without younger people and decent paying jobs. They made their fortune now give someone else the opportunity.

  37. Tanya says:

    I think it is a wonderful thing.. We need more things like this in the county.. There are hardly any jobs around here and sad that people that grew up in the county have to go else where because there’s nothing here!!

  38. Dale says:

    Shame on the mayor for his support of PT and their proposed expansion! Picton Terminals can’t even manage what they have in operation right now, how are they going to be trusted to adhere to environmental guidelines as a major shipping port?!?

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