OlyOpp's August 2006 letter to the Association of Professional of Engineers and Geophysicists of Manitoba (APEGM) has caused the APEGM to confirm that it has launched a conflict-of-interest investigation into Earth Tech, the firm that conducted the environmental assessment for the proposed OlyWest hog plant. This could potentially delay Clean Environment Commission (CEC) hearings slated for next year.
OlyOpp is the coalition of business groups that opposes OlyWest's proposed hog processing facility being located in St. Boniface industrial park. The group contends that Earth Tech is in a conflict of interest because it was contracted by OlyWest both to assist with the design and construction of the plant, as well as prepare the environmental assessment of the facility.
Earth Tech considers the OlyOpp allegations a nuisance, noting the APEGM is required to investigate all complaints about its members, regardless of whether the concerns are legitimate. OlyWest is not the first project Earth Tech has both designed and assessed; the firm drew up the plans for Simplot Foods in Portage la Prairie and also conducted the environmental assessment of the project. Earth Tech is also involved in the upgrades for the Winnipeg north end wastewater treatment centre, which are integral to the OlyWest proposal.
OlyOpp has asked the CEC to delay hearings until the APEGM completes its investigation. Commission chairman Terry Sargeant has said that if there is an investigation of Earth Tech, the commission might have to consider delaying the public hearings.
View the November 17, 2006 CBC article
View the November 17, 2006 Winnipeg Free Press article (DOC)
View the November 18, 2006 Winnipeg Free Press Editorial (DOC)
View the November 15, 2006 letter from OlyOpp to the CEC (DOC)
Sources: CBC, Winnipeg Free Press