Petition to Shut Down Bretona Rail Yard
Cando Contracting Ltd., Canadian National Railway (CN) and Imperial Oil built a rail yard in 2010 to store 225 petroleum tank cars in the middle of an agricultural, conservation and recreation area in Strathcona County, 1 kilometre east of Edmonton, Alberta. The first tank cars were pulled into the rail yard in early November of last year.
Nearby residents tried to stop construction of this rail yard, but were unsuccessful. This ill-conceived rail yard is built in the worst possible location, 30 metres from two wildlife conservation areas, less than 200 metres from two homes, and 700 metres from a 27-hole golf course. Nearby residents signed a petition demanding that operation of the rail yard cease and that a rail yard be built in another location in an industrial area where people and the natural environment will not be negatively impacted.
Rail yards are noisy, they’re unsightly, they smell, and they impact health, the environment, property values and overall quality of life of nearby residents. They belong in industrial areas. This rail yard was built and is now being operated without any neighbouring landowner notification, no opportunities to object, no environmental or socio-economic assessments, and no measures to contain petroleum spills or leaks. Many federal laws, CN policies and Imperial Oil policies have been breached during the construction and operation of this rail yard. From a safety perspective, this rail yard is also an accident waiting to happen, constructed near a major bend in the CN mainline where straight line vision of two switches between the mainline and the rail yard is very poor.
Local residents then started an online petition to get this rail yard shut down. The petition, now complete with 855 signatures, has been sent to Gord Peters (Cando Contracting President), Claude Mongeau (CN President and CEO), Bruce March (Imperial Oil President and CEO), Rob Merrifield (federal Minister of State – Transport), Peter Kent (federal Environment Minister), and Leon Benoit (MP Wainwright-Vegreville). A copy of the petition can be viewed here.