Arviat tank farm development restarts ‘from square one’
Some community members opposed previous design and location
A proposed tank farm in Arviat will not go ahead as planned after the hamlet’s council voted to ask the Government of Nunavut to restart the project.
In a special meeting last month, council voted to withdraw a bylaw that would have rezoned a shoreline area of the community for the farm’s construction.
The hamlet also asked that the GN and its petroleum products division work with the community to ensure residents are properly consulted on the tank farm’s development.
“We voted to start the process over, give it back to the GN and restart everything, including the consultations,” Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. said in a phone interview.
“We’re going to start from scratch, from square one again and redo everything.”
Prior to the vote, some Arviat residents had expressed opposition to the project’s proposed location.
Nooks Lindell, whose family lives close to that area, launched a petition calling for the project to be blocked.
While acknowledging Arviat needs to replace its current tank farm, Lindell told Nunatsiaq News in May he was concerned about the potential environmental impact of the project.
Lindell wasn’t available Monday to discuss council’s call to restart the planning process.
While Lindell’s petition collected 694 signatures, Savikataaq said several factors prompted council to reconsider the project in its original form.
“There were many consultations, but it could have been handled better,” the mayor said.
The hamlet is working with the territory’s Community and Government Services Department to determine what’s next in this development.
“Soon, we’ll have a roadmap of what to expect [in] the future [and] on timelines and everything,” Savikataaq said.
“It’s at the hands of the government right now.”
David Joanasie, Nunavut’s Minister of Community and Government Services, said his department supports Arviat’s decision and is committed to collaborate with the community on the next steps.
The department “is identifying potential community tank farm sites and developing evaluation criteria for community consideration,” Joanasie said in an emailed statement.
“The department remains committed to ensuring adequate fuel supply in Arviat.”
Information on the Nunavut Planning Commission’s website indicates Arviat’s current tank farm requires major expansion and code upgrades.