10:40 am: We got a call about an hour ago from an east-end resident letting us know that there had just been a loud and powerful blast that came from the Collingwood Ethanol plant a short while ago. Black smoke billowed across the skies and emergency vehicles quickly came to the scene.
As my assistant Chris lives in the east end of town, we quickly went over to the plant and sure enough, all access points are blocked by police vehicles and it appears some employees have been evacuated. While there, she spoke to an OPP officer who told her that they did not yet know the cause and that witnesses were being interviewed. She did not feel there was any imminent threat of danger and no local residents have been evacuated. The local media is on the scene. The good news is that we did not see any further smoke and, we watched a fire truck LEAVING the scene.
The Collingwood Ethanol plant continues to be the subject of much controversy in the community. The Ministry of Environment (MOE) has previously confirmed that the plant is not meeting its Certificate of Approval limits regarding odour and noise and have issued Minister’s orders against the plant. Municipal nuisance charges are also pending against the company.
Will today’s event finally bring the urgency and seriousness of residents concerns to a head? Collingwood citizens have surely had enough. Coincidentally, we hear an unconfirmed rumour that Collingwood’s Mayor Carrier is meeting with the MOE this morning.
Breaking Breaking News: We’ve also just heard that the explosion was a minor fire in the top of a silo and further, that thankfully no one has been hurt. We’ve also been told the plant is expected to re-open by tonight.
May 14th Update: Plant has announced it will voluntarily and temporarily shut down on June 30th to complete odour abatement plan.
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg