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No health risk from odour in Moncton’s North end

By Tara Clow Dec 20, 2023 | 1:26 PM

Testing by Hive Engineering has agreed there is an odour in Moncton’s north end.

However, the director of environmental planning management also confirmed there appears to be no health risk.

“Testing has not found anything to suggest toxic levels in the chemicals, and they tested for over 70 of them. That doesn’t make the smells any less bad, but at least we know that they don’t seem to be dangerous from an outdoor health perspective,” said Tim Moerman.

A lengthy discussion was held at Moncton City Council this week over what should be done to resolve the issue.

Ward 3 Councillor Bryan Butler compared the smell to being forced to sit in an outhouse at a construction site all night.

“That’s what they’re smelling every day. Every time the wind blows, they get this smell. Even Hive Engineering said when they were there, the smell was there. So we have to do something,” said Butler.

A motion was put forth that included a need for a mitigation plan to be submitted to the Department of Environment and Local Government by the end of January.

It also called for continued discussions with TransAqua regarding the ongoing odour and what further actions could be taken to solve the issue, including a potential request for the wastewater commission to look at options that may include moving the facility indoors or relocating it somewhere away from residential properties.

It was a close vote of 5-4 in favour of the motion, with councillors Bryan Butler, Shawn Crossman, Paul Richard and Dave Steeves voting against.

There was much debate among councillors that the motion needed to be more strongly worded. Some felt they should be directing TransAqua to do something to fix the problem.

Questions about legalities arose because TransAqua is funded by Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview and decisions should come from all three councils, not just one.

Nick Robichaud, the city’s general manager of legal and legislative services, plans to study the issue further.

Coun. Steeves brought forth another motion on behalf of Coun. Butler insisting that the regional wastewater commission build a facility on its lot in the Moncton Industrial Park to keep the odours inside or to move its plant outside of the city.

That motion will be debated at Moncton City Council in the new year.

A task force was created in March 2022 to begin trying to get to the bottom of the bad smell, but residents began lodging complaints long before that.