Univar Canada wants to build a chemical distribution facility just south of the Sumas Way highway interchange in Abbotsford.

Univar Canada wants to build a chemical distribution facility just south of the Sumas Way highway interchange in Abbotsford.

Chemical distribution facility gets approval from Abbotsford council

Fire chief and mayor says no safety concern about ethanol distribution facility

A proposed chemical storage and distribution centre in south Abbotsford received approval from council last week.

Univar Canada wants to build the facility on McClary Avenue, just southwest of the Sumas Way interchange.

The 68,000-square-foot centre would see ethanol – and other chemicals – unloaded from the nearby rail line, stored on site, and transferred to trucks. It would employ around 50 people.

The site would include three large ethanol tanks and two dozen smaller tanks.

Council had given the project preliminary approval two weeks prior, with final granting of a development permit to be issued after a public comment period was held.

RELATED: Chemical distribution facility proposed for site south of Highway 1 in Abbotsford

Safety precautions had not been discussed at the previous meeting in January, but last week fire chief Don Beer and development planning director Darren Braun each spoke to the safety of the application, pointing to strict federal and provincial regulations that govern such facilities and require safety precautions to be in place..

“I’m confident with the review my staff has done on this, as well as planning and development, that it is safe for the community,” Beer said.

Mayor Henry Braun noted that such chemicals are regularly transported through Abbotsford on its highways and rail lines, and said a chemicals-distribution centre, by its nature, poses less of a danger than the general transportation of such material.

“I don’t have any concerns that this is a plant that will endanger our community; otherwise it would never pass through our staff or fire rescue services,” he said.

Company officials told council that it follows a range of regulations and safety guidelines and works to take “every practical precaution towards ensuring that products and services maintain a safe environment for all of our stakeholders including employees, customers, the public and the environment.”

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Univar Canada wants to build a chemical distribution facility just south of the Sumas Way highway interchange in Abbotsford.

Univar Canada wants to build a chemical distribution facility just south of the Sumas Way highway interchange in Abbotsford.

Univar Canada wants to build a chemical distribution facility just south of the Sumas Way highway interchange in Abbotsford.

Univar Canada wants to build a chemical distribution facility just south of the Sumas Way highway interchange in Abbotsford.