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The London Free Press (Canada): Shell set to reveal mega-plan health studies

Sun, January 20, 2008
By GEORGE MATHEWSON, SUN MEDIA     

SARNIA — Residents will learn Tuesday how a proposed multi-billion-dollar oil refinery would affect the area’s people and environment.

Shell Canada has completed field studies on air, water and human health for the proposed mega-project near Courtright and will present preliminary findings at a Point Edward open house.

“It’s really open to anybody who has an interest in the project and wants to learn more about our progress on the environmental assessment,” said Shell’s Leigh Anne Richardson.

The technical reports studied noise and light pollution, existing soil contamination and the potential effects a massive new refinery might have on human health, water, air and the economy.

If the project proceeds, it would be on a scale seldom seen in Ontario, with thousands of workers hired to build the plant and hundreds of lasting jobs. 

About 1,100 people turned out for two earlier open houses. While many touted the economic benefits of the project, some expressed concern about environmental damage, Richardson said.

“We want to make sure we do address those concerns.”

Shell hopes to turn the environmental assessment over to Ontario by the end of April, with a decision possible in late 2008.

If the refinery goes ahead, parts of Shell’s existing plant near Corunna will be shut down, Richardson confirmed.

Shell Canada has optioned about 2,400 hectares of property south of Courtright for an upgrading and refining facility to process heavy crude from Alberta. If regulatory approvals fall into place, Shell is expected to make a final decision in 2009.

IF YOU GO

– What: Shell Canada open house, to share early findings of an environmental assessment for proposed refinery.

– When: Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

– Where: Holiday Inn, Point Edward.

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2008/01/20/4782913-sun.html

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