October 17, 2005

Ottawa accepts Supreme Court ruling on Belledune facility

The federal government will not seek leave to appeal a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada concerning Bennett Environmental's high-temperature thermal oxidizer project in Belledune, New Brunswick. Federal Environment Minister St├ęphane Dion accepted the decision, which upheld that of a lower court.

In October 2004, the Federal Court of Appeal set aside the federal government's referral of the project to an environmental assessment panel under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The court said the Act does not apply to Bennett's Belledune facility because it was near completion and thus did not meet the definition of a project under the Act.

A move to have the project made subject to the federal environmental assessment process was prompted by public concerns about the possible transboundary air quality impacts associated with operation of the Belledune facility. A study group of federal experts had previously concluded that any such effects were unlikely.

Commenting on the decision, Bennett president and CEO Al Bulckaert said he looked forward to working with the federal and New Brunswick governments "to demonstrate that Bennett's thermal oxidizer meets the rigorous protection standards established by the regulators in those jurisdictions."

In other activities, the company reports that Danny Ponn will be leaving his position as Bennett's vice-president of engineering and business development at the end of this year; he has been with the company for 15 years. Pending his replacement, Al Bulckaert, who has extensive experience in plant operations and manufacturing, will assume responsibility for all plant operations.

In the interim as well, he will be assisted by the firm's engineering manager, Steve Flannery, on engineering matters. Flannery has more than 15 years of experience in the manufacturing sector. Since joining Bennett over three years ago, he and has had responsibility for a number of engineering projects, including construction of the Belledune facility and engineering matters at Bennett's operations in Saint Ambroise, Quebec and Cornwall, Ontario.

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