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Sunnymel chicken plant plans up for comment

Residents of the New Brunswick town where poultry producer Groupe Westco and processor Olymel want to build a chicken slaughter and cutting plant have until Feb. 17 to speak their piece on the companies’ plans.

The $40 million joint-venture project, dubbed Sunnymel, was the subject of public information sessions Jan. 21 and 22 in Clair, N.B., in the province’s Madawaska area.

The sessions included the release of an environmental impact study, as required by the provincial environment department, dealing with issues such as water supply, wastewater treatment, potential sources of odours, truck traffic and air quality.

Comments received during the information sessions and online at the project website, where the study can also be viewed, will be accepted until Feb. 17 and then forwarded to the province’s environment department.

The proposed site would take up about 60 acres on a 200-acre property in an industrial zone near existing breeding farms, the companies noted in a release last week.

The joint venture, if approved, would process 450,000 birds a week on a single shift per day with about 250 staff, at the rate of about 12,000 birds per hour.

The Sunnymel plant, the companies reiterated, is “designed to serve the entire Maritimes market from New Brunswick” and “will allow Sunnymel to occupy an enviable position on the poultry market.”

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