Nova hears rail concerns at Joffre

Establishing a community advisory panel to work with CN on issues surrounding rail service at Joffre was suggested at a stakeholder meeting.

Establishing a community advisory panel to work with CN on issues surrounding rail service at Joffre was suggested at a stakeholder meeting.

Nova Chemicals met with community members last November to discuss the upcoming expansion of the rail yards that serve the Joffre petrochemical complex.

The rail yard project is part of a nearly $1-billion project to construct an addition onto one of Nova’s polyethylene plants at Joffre. Scheduled to wrap up by the end of 2015, the work is expected to boost polyethylene production by 40 per cent and rail traffic by 30 per cent.

Lacombe County council was given an update on Thursday of the discussions attended by about 40 people including representatives from CN and Nova.

The idea of setting up a panel was greeted favourably by several councillors.

If a committee is set up council recommended other municipalities, such as Ponoka and Ponoka County, be invited to join.

County commissioner Terry Hager said a similar panel is already in place in the area to work with Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., which serves the Prentiss plant along with CN.

The company has committed to maintain an existing curfew that stops train movement from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. accept in unusual circumstances.

A noise abatement program will also be put in place as the rail yard expansion nears completion.

CN spokesman Warren Chandler said there has been no further discussion so far on setting up the panel.

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