Friday, April 17, 2009

Barrie Council Takes Steps to Restrict Ethanol Production

The group "Citizens Against Refining Ethanol" (C.A.R.E.) won a major victory this week when Barrie Council passed two bills that will enact bylaws restricting the production of ethanol within that city. The bylaws will restrict the production of ethanol in Barrie and are the result of two years of public outcry over the intentions of Northern Ethanol to produce 408 million liters of ethanol per year at a facility on the former site of Molson brewery.

Specifically, these bylaws will result in the following

  • Designate ethanol as a Noxious Product, thereby restricting it to land zoned EM5 (Special Industrial).

  • Stipulate in the Official Plan and Industrial By-law that ethanol production be separated from "sensitive land uses" (i.e. residences, schools, hospitals, places of worship, environmentally protected areas and other ethanol production facilities) by a minimum of 1,000 meters (one kilometer).

These bylaws will serve to restrict ethanol production such that it would be separated from those "sensitive land uses" by the maximum distance contemplated in accepted Provincial planning policy. It will be a contravention of Barrie's Official Plan and Industrial By-law to allow ethanol production to occur virtually anywhere in Barrie. Importantly, Northern Ethanol’s application would be rejected taking into account the proposed changes. These new measures taken by the City of Barrie can still be overturned by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and a legal case against the city by Northern Ethanol has yet to be dealt with. Meanwhile, Collingwood's own ethanol plant continues to work with the Ministry of Environment in trying to alleviate the noise and odour problems that have doggedly plagued that facility since its start-up. The citizens in Barrie would appear to have reason to claim a victory. Only time will tell if the final outcome in our community with give residents of east-end Collingwood, the Town and Collingwood Ethanol reason to mutually feel the same way.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.