BAIE VERTE, NL — A couple of pieces of prime real estate in Baie Verte were once home to towering oil tanks and other related infrastructure, but these days, they stand out for their barren state.
The Irving-owned properties on Water Street and Highway 410 have long been abandoned, and their desolate condition stands out in the community, according to Mayor Brandon Philpott.
At a recent meeting, council raised concerns about whether or not these properties are contaminated from their days as Irving tank storage areas. A recommendation to address and rectify the situation came before council, and a previous study referring to the areas as contaminated was noted. Council recommended the town’s chief administrative officer, Brian Peach, follow up on the situation.
“We wanted to see what the situation was with the land, because if they are contaminated with oil then they should be made to remediate it or clean it up at least,” said the mayor. “They are both located in the middle of town and we have surrounding properties with things like residences nearby.”
According to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment, the land still belongs to Irving. In 2007, both properties were assessed and remediated to commercial standards by the owner, according to the department, allowing the company to redevelop as commercial property.
The Nor’wester left a message with Irving inquiring about the status of the property and any potential for or interest in development but did not receive a response as of deadline.
Given the assurance the land is not contaminated, and development is permitted, Philpott said it is important the town learns the company’s intentions.
“We would like to know if the owners are planning to hold onto it or whether they would let it go back to the town or sell it,” Philpott said.
The properties are located across from town hall and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police station on Highway 410, and between the Riffs and Co-Op stores in the Water Street area.