Nova Chemicals studying Highway 40 improvements ahead of possible expansion

A new polyethylene plant may be coming to Corunna

The Nova Chemicals Corunna site may see a major expansion in the future. (Photo Provided)

An environmental assessment is underway for possible improvements to Highway 40 at its intersections with Petrolia Line and Rokeby Line.

NOVA Chemicals is proposing to develop a new polyethylene facility at its Corunna Site on Rokeby Line. To support construction and operation of a new facility, improvements are needed on Highway 40, according to the company.

Three areas along the road have been identified for improvements. 

The environmental assessment study will look into the possible impacts of lengthening the southbound left turning lane at both Petrolia Line and Rokeby Line and widening the intersection radius at the southbound left turning lane at Rokeby Line.

“It ensures there is no endangered species and that you’re not going to have any adverse environmental impacts in order to do that expansion on the roadway,” said St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold.

The study will prepare an environmental screening document to file with the Ministry of Transportation summarizing its results.

Highway improvements would take place during the second half of 2018, according to the company.

“Based on our discussions to date, we expect that NOVA Chemicals will pay for the improvements to Highway 40 should the proposed facility be approved to proceed,” NOVA Chemicals spokesperson Meaghan Kreeft told the Lambton Shield in an email.

A final investment decision on the proposed facility is expected later this year and startup is projected for 2021, if regulatory approvals can be met, according to the Company.

“For us, locally, here as a council, it’s a wait and see,” Arnold said. “There’s been a number of announcements made over the years for a lot of different facilities. Some have been built, some haven’t.”

Arnold said St. Clair Township has all the work done on the municipal end and it’s now up to NOVA leadership to make the finial decision.

“When you get to be this far in the process, you feel pretty confident that things are going to continue to do well, but, there’s still a way to go,” said Arnold. “You get that positive energy that you want to have because you want those employment opportunities for all those people.”

Construction at NOVA Chemicals can draw the attention of other industry players, according to Arnold.

“Anytime you do a new build, it does send a positive signal out there,” he said.

Members of the public are welcome to provide comments on the Highway 40 project, in writing, to the project team, before September 7. Comments can be made to Piero Amodeo from Stantec Consulting at Piero.amodeo@stantec.com.

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