Explosives company looks to set up shop in Terrace, B.C.

Consbec Inc. wants to manufacture as well as store explosives

A company looking to manufacture and store explosives here is one step closer to doing so south of town.

At its Jan. 23 meeting, city council passed first and second readings of a zoning bylaw amendment requested by Consbec Inc.

Consbec Inc. has received an offer for a licence of occupation for 20 years from the province for approximately 36 hectares on land south of the Terrace-Kitimat airport and about 200 metres west of Beam Station Road, director of development services David Block told council Jan. 23.

The land is in the Agricultural Land Reserve so the company applied to the Agricultural Land Commission for a non-farm use permit and council will be requested to comment on that, said Block.

Consbec Inc. intends to not just store explosives but make them as well. It plans to only use about three hectares of land for production and storage so the rest of the land provides a buffer – the nearest residence is about 1 km away to the south down Beam Station Road.

Consbec believes it will clear only five to 10 hectares of land and upgrade an existing forestry road for access, said Block. The company is expected to make explosives for anticipated industrial developments in the northwest, he added.

The application is similar to a 2013 site specific zoning amendment received by company Austin Powder for a magazine storage facility, also south of the airport and east of Beam Station Rd. but Austin Powder does not manufacture explosives, said Block.

Another company, Dyno Noble, also stores explosives south of the airport but on private land.

Councillor James Cordeiro asked if protocols were set up in case the truck carrying the explosives were to jackknife. He noted two crates of explosives that were reported by police as having fallen off a truck several years ago; that incident happened in July 2012.

Block said the city hasn’t been notified of any problems, noting that the two other explosives storage companies, Austin Powder and Dyno Noble, already transport explosives through city limits.

Their explosives are taken to mining developments along Hwy 37 and have their own provincial and federal regulations to follow, said Block.

Fire chief John Klie, who was present at the meeting, said that the fire department isn’t notified when explosives are transported through town but noted that the vehicles carry placards that indicate explosives are on board.

Movers and shippers have their own guidelines and as long as there’s no fire, moving explosives is fairly safe; once explosives get into the hands of inexperienced people is when they become dangerous, added Klie.

Block said since other companies have received non-farm use permits that Consbec likely would too, and if they didn’t get one for 20 years then probably it would be for 10 years like Austin Powder.

Following these initial readings of the bylaw, a public notice will be circulated and a date set for a public hearing about the proposed rezone.

After the public hearing, then council will give the rezoning application its third reading.