Some people living in Wembley have mixed feelings about a new industry coming to town. Over 90 people attended an open house on Monday night to ask questions about a proposed crude-by-rail transloading operation running near their homes. While some thought it was a good idea, others like Simone Schultz weren’t so sure.
“I think most Wembleyites are concerned about the noise because there’s noise already, the traffic because there’s traffic already; there’s a lot of big trucks coming in and out but I think now we are concerned about the smell. Crude oil stinks bad and I think this close to town it’s going to be disastrous for people.”
This facility will be a joint operation between Source Energy Services and Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. Source’s Vice President of Canadian Operations Kelly Roncin says this is his company’s way of helping to get oil to market.
“Canada is the environmental leader in the safe development of resources, however now more than ever given the current situation, it’s very important that we find solutions to access the markets that are available to us. By offering crude-by-rail at this terminal, Wembley, the terminal itself and the Town of Wembley become part of the solution.”
Oil will be transloaded at this facility. That means crude will be pumped between rail cars and tanker trucks and eventually shipped off. Roncin says the company has heard that people like Schultz are concerned about the smell during that process but says it shouldn’t be an issue.
“The main one that we identified from the meeting itself was the odour associated with the transloading. This would be handled through the closed coupling system that Tidewater will be providing along with robust spill prevention that they have in place at their other facilities.”
Another concern a number of people shared was about an increase in train noise. As part of the expansion, five to 10 tankage cars are expected to pass through the area each day. Source says it plans to plant a wall of spruce trees to combat that extra noise.
Resident Cory Gundersen is in favour of the project and says he appreciates that the company has listened to peoples’ concerns.
“Any expansion is gonna be good expansion; it’s going to bring some growth to the community that’s much needed. As far as extra traffic and stuff goes, whether it goes by us or just pulls in it’s going to be the same amount; but I like the fact that they’re willing to add some sound barrier to that and work with the community and host this kind of event in order to educate [people on] the process.”
Roncin says Source’s next step is to apply for the development permit within the next month and hopefully begin operations as soon as possible.