Friday 14 December 2012

Province to sludge plant: Not So Fast!

MHA Lorraine Michael presented a petition in the House of Assembly on Monday.  Today her office is reporting the following. It looks like Encanex will be required to provide information about chemical, noise, and other environmental impacts on the Battery, and to hold public meetings. Stay tuned.


Encanex Wastewater Treatment Operation                              (Reg. 1679)
Proponent: Encanex Environmental Oil & Gas Corp.

The minister has advised the proponent that an Environmental Preview Report (EPR) is required for this project. The EPR is necessary to address, but is not limited to, information on: types of wastewater fluids, treatment processes and monitoring, storage and discharge details and potential impacts on the surrounding infrastructure and environment.  An Environmental Assessment Committee will be appointed to provide scientific and technical advice to the minister and guidance regarding the information requirements to the proponent. The information to be provided will reflect requirements under the Environmental Protection Act and other pertinent legislation. The proponent will be required to hold public meetings during the EPR process. For further information on this project, please contact the Environmental Assessment Committee Chairperson, Eric Watton, at (709) 729-2822 or email at

Outer Battery Maps calendar-REPUBLISHED!

The Outer Battery 2013 calendar is just about sold out, so OBNA is having 100 extra copies printed for Christmas. Get yours at Blue Moon Pottery or Belbin's Grocery!  $10.

Thursday 6 December 2012

Get your Outer Battery 2013 Calendar! Launch Sunday Dec 9th

LAUNCH SUNDAY DEC. 9TH, 2-3pm in Pearcey's Twinestore.
An unique neighbourhood souvenier - just in time for Christmas!

OBNA has put together a colourful selection of historic maps showing what was happening at the Battery over the past four centuries.  The 2013 calendar contains unique maps of handline grounds, cod trap berths, sunkers and fortifications dating from 1675 to the present.

There's a free copy for each household in Outer Battery, so swing by Charlie's twinestore on Sunday between 2 and 3 pm and pick up your free calendar.
Extra copies on sale for $10 each.

Monday 26 November 2012

Battery oil wastewater plant - more information

Councillor Sheilagh O'Leary has copied us on the following letter outlining her concerns.  Information from the proponent can be seen here, which says "there will be a series of containers for the water treatment equipment, office and material storage units. There will also be a series of tanks (up to 6) to contain both wastewater and treated water. The hours of operation are scheduled during normal business hours. Extra hours and weekend work may be required depending on the schedule of the supply vessels.".  There is no information given about how much noise this will create.  We understand that Port Authority may be enthusiastic about sticking this plant here in the Battery. Anyone concerned should make their views known now.  December 7th is the deadline for comments to Minister Hedderson's office (see O'Leary letter below) Some issues may be:  noise, smell, eyesore, negative effect on B&B and tourism operations, etc.  Feel free to copy comments to this blog.

Honourable Minister Hedderson.
Department of Environment and Conservation
Confederation Building.
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL
A1B 4J6
November 9th, 2012
To the Honourable Minister Hedderson,
Hope this finds you well and that your transition to the Environment & Conservation portfolio is going smooth.
As a St. John’s City Councillor and as Chair of the newly re-instated Environmental Advisory Committee for the City of St. John’s, I am writing to voice my clear concern and opposition to the proposal for a wastewater treatment facility that would process petroleum hydrocarbons, total suspended solids, solids, metals typically associated with hydrocarbons, and free oil on Pier 17 right under Battery Road on the City of St. John’s harbourfront.

I have great reservations about a potential wastewater treatment facility releasing this oil by-product "to the City’s storm or sanitary sewer". I have been having discussions with environmental engineers regarding the potential risks/ill-effects resulting from such a close proximity to residents of the Battery as well as to the hundreds of impending residents in the downtown condominium developments and anxiety on this application is growing. I have also been receiving letters of great concern from downtown business owners.

As you are aware, the City of St. John’s has received no application to date and via our Development Committee, has advised against this proposal due to a lack of substantial information on impacts. How much noise with this facility make? My understanding is that this residue/sludge requires vacuum removal and existing facilities are known to cause a great deal of noise. The facility would also be at the mercy of ship scheduling as opposed to a pre-scheduled daytime function. Oil smells are another concern. There are many regulatory issues to address, but the appropriate location is the utmost concern I have on behalf of residents.

The City’s planning department has been actively engaging the residents of St. John’s through our City's municipal plan review process and residents have voiced a strong desire for a more revitalized, livable harbourfront. Though I am completely cognizant of the need for such an oil waste production facility and certainly support good environmental stewardship regarding the safe disposal of oil waste, it does not need be based in the heart of our Battery/ downtown area. This area is one of our City’s biggest assets in regards to provincial and city tourism and would be in direct conflict with the Provincial tourism’s heavily invested, promotional efforts.
Your government challenges us all to take an active role in promoting our environment. Clean air, water and land are priceless natural endowments and protection of these resources and our historic areas such as the Battery bring a wealth of tourism and that as individuals, groups and businesses, and government, it is our responsibility to protect and sustain this environment.

Other options for such a facility must be found and I look forward to your response. Thank you for your time and attention to this serious environment issue.

Councillor O’Leary

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Battery offshore wastewater plant proposed

!City Council (and the Province) is apparently considering a proposal to put an offshore wastewater plant at Pier 17.   It should be of serious concern to Outer Battery residents.  Will there be a smell?  Noise? Will the waste water discharge flow past our front doors?  What will this mean for small boats?  For tourism?  How will it affect us?

We've asked our Ward Councillor, Frank Galgay, to give us information about this.

Meanwhile,  this information is from Councillor Sheilagh O'Leary's facebook page:  PLEASE read the following Provincial Environment and Conservation bulletin and if you agree with me, write or call Minister Hedderson and tell him you DO NOT want this wastewater facility for offshore drilling to be developed at Pier 17, right under Battery Road in historic downtown St. John's. During our City of St. John's Municipal plan review process, citizens who shared the common desire for a revitalized harbourfront (that is people friendly and engages pedestrian traffic and amenities) spoke loud and clear. 

This proposition is completely inappropriate and dangerous to our environment & unique heritage area and defies the input we have received from the public. 

***   The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Environment and Conservation, has announced the following events relative to Part 10 Environmental Assessment of the Environmental Protection Act.

Environment and ConservationNovember 2, 2012
Environmental Assessment Bulletin:The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Environment and Conservation, has announced the following events relative to Part 10 Environmental Assessment of the Environmental Protection Act.
Encanex Wastewater Treatment Operation (Reg. 1679)Proponent: ENCANEX Environmental Oil & Gas Corp.
The proponent has submitted a proposal to establish and operate a wastewater treatment facility at Pier 17 on the north side of St. Johns Harbour.
The proposed 5000 square foot existing infill site at Pier 17 is located on the harbour front just east of the existing MI SWACO site and south of the Battery Road and residential area. This facility will receive wastewater from offshore drilling operations that may contain total petroleum hydrocarbons, total suspended solids, solids (90 per cent > 50 microns), metals typically associated with hydrocarbons, and free oil. The wastewater will be received from ship via piping on the existing infrastructure. Wastewater will be treated at a maximum rate of 50 gallons per minute and discharge water will meet Schedule A or B of the Newfoundland and Labrador Treatment Control Water and Sewer Regulations. With the necessary permits in place, treated water within these schedules will be released to storm or sanitary sewer.
The proposed facility will provide up to five new jobs and treatment operations are scheduled to commence as early as January 1, 2013.
The undertaking was registered on November 1, 2012; the deadline for public comments is December 7, 2012; and the Ministers decision is due by December 16, 2012.
Contact:Minister Tom (709) 729-2577Fax: (709) 729-0112Toll Free: 1-877-787-0707

Friday 28 September 2012

Congratulations to Jack & Mary Wells

This morning MHA Lorraine Michael presented them with the Queen's Jubilee Medal.  Way to go, Jack and Mary.  Live Long and Prosper!

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Parking lot cosmetics

The SW corner of the parking lot now looks like this. The city had originally planned this space to be a paved No Parking area: empty asphalt with yellow stripes on it.  They wanted no cars going over their sewer access grates.  Since they would not allow parking in this space,  OBNA requested that it be made a small park/rest area.  The City agreed and this platform seems to be the result.  It looks like they still have some finishing work to do.
The expanded parking lot was built last year without permission over land belonging to the Riche and Wells families.  OBNA pointed this out to the City, and the upshot was that in June both families' land was belatedly expropriated. City notified the Wells but neglected to inform the Riche's, instead leaving an expropriation notice taped to the parking lot fence.  OBNA passed the notice on to retired judge David Riche, and we read in The Scope that this week the City compensated the Riche family for their land.  It appears that no such compensation arrangement has been made with the Wells.  Why not?

Monday 3 September 2012

3rd annual barbeque

The 3rd annual Outer Battery barbeque went off in style last weekend August 26th in the parking lot, featuring Burgers by Bruce, Frites by Fabien & Sophie, and Music by Frank Maher, Mike Walsh, Frankie Janes and others.  Thanks especially to Barb, Angie, Joanne, Keith, Chris and everyone else who helped make it a success.  Wes Pretty donated a spectacular framed photograph of Outer Battery for the raffle, and it was won by Keith Sparkes.  Thanks Wes, and congrats Keith.
Gary Smith, the artist who painted the Admiral's Adventure wall mural, came down and sketched the scene. (The original is pinned up in Jack Wells' store)

Friday 27 July 2012

City parking lot restricts access to waters of harbour

We're drawing attention to one of the (unintended?) byproducts of the City's parking lot extension: it eliminates a right of access to the harbour waters which Outer Battery people have had for four centuries.  We believe the City must permit access, via either a gate in the jail-bar fence or some more creative solution.  Our July 27/12 presentation about this to the Narrows Group can be viewed on the DOCUMENTS tab or directly here.

Saturday 14 July 2012

Pearcey Punts

Charlie Pearcey put out a punt and a flat today.   And inside the stage, two smaller boats were launched on the sofa. Nice to see more boats moored on the Battery, despite the City's new parking lot that hampers harbour access. 

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Battery Champion Square Dance Team 1936

Frank Maher sent this.  Anyone have memories of Jim Stamp's dance hall?

Saturday 16 June 2012

The Amazing Chick Cam is back!

Have a sneak peep at family bird life on the roof of Jack Wells' twinestore! Click on the CHICK CAM tab above, or on this picture.

Peep! Peep!
Cheep! Cheep!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Municipal Plan public forum

The City is circulating notice of another public forum in their Municipal Plan Review process, Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the Foran/Greene Room, Fourth Floor, St. John's City Hall. This is regarding the whole municipal plan, not specifically the Battery.

Saturday 2 June 2012

Municipal plan public consultations

As part of the St. John's Municipal Plan Review process, a series of public consultations are being held to hear what your vision is for the City of St. John's.  On Monday, June 4, 2012 at 7 p.m., 4th floor, St. John's City Hall, there will be a Public Meeting with a special guest speaker, Ken Greenberg. 

Tuesday 8 May 2012

New non-residential guidelines

The Telegram carries a story today that City Council last night approved new building guidelines for non-residential properties on Outer Battery. It looks like this is an update of the PHB report presented at the City's public meeting back in February, apparently incorporating the public input from that meeting.
The City didn't give OBNA any notice of this, but today we asked for -and got- a copy of what they approved last night.  It is now available on our DOCUMENTS tab, also here.
Also, the City's website is advertising a public meeting about The Narrows (Outer Battery & Fort Amherst) this Thursday night.  Information here

Thursday 3 May 2012

"Council does not do anything for us."

Although the City has not had a very positive relationship with Outer Battery in the last couple of  years, the vibes apparently go back much longer than that.  Elaine Wychreschuk found this document in the archives where residents petitioned the Nfld government to be removed from the City's jurisdiction because "Council does not do anything for us."  It must date from before 1949, and perhaps the 1920s.  Signed by about 60 people.  Anyone remember anything about this?

Sunday 15 April 2012

OBNA executive positions

OBNA board for 2012 is:
Chair & Treasurer: Angela Drake
Vice-chair: Chris Brookes
Secretary:  Michel Savard
Board members:  Fabien Basset, Keith Sparkes.
Minutes of board meetings posted under the blog tab above.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

3rd AGM report

Thanks to everyone who came to the AGM last night.   There was more than an adequate quorum, and thanks to Joanne's prepared script and materials, things went smoothly.
•  Outgoing board members Joanne Butler and Judy Adler expressed regret they decline to stand for reelection.  Many thanks to them both for all their valuable work in the past year.
• The new board elected for 2012 is:  Michel Savard, Fabien Basset, Keith Sparkes, Angela Drake, Chris Brookes.
• The meeting formally passed the constitutional amendment to include "to preserve and promote our community's heritage" in OBNA's aims - this was approved last year but needed formal AGM passage.  
• There was discussion about OBNA's aim "to preserve the physical fabric of the neighbourhood" and it was generally agreed this should include careful monitoring of any inappropriate neighbourhood developments  (monster houses, etc.)
• Outgoing Treasurer Ange Drake presented OBNA's financial statement.  We have a tiny surplus in the bank account, which will be supplemented during the year by donations, barbeque fund-raiser and book sales.
• Outgoing Chair Chris Brookes gave a rundown of the past year's activity, ongoing parking lot issues, the Narrows Group participation, and OBNA's application for summer student funding 2012 similar to last year. Also that we just received CEDP(provincial govt) funding to cover cost of reprinting 300 copies of Out to the Battery which can be sold to supplement OBNA's income.
The new Board expects to meet within a week to sort out roles for Chair, Treasurer, etc. and we'll post their contacts on this blog when that's settled.
Thanks to Elias for bringing choc-chip cookies, and as always to Charlie Pearcey for the use of his store, warm and cosy despite the pack ice in the harbour.

Monday 2 April 2012


All members please make a special effort to be present - we need a quorum!

Tuesday 27 March 2012

OBNA met with city today

OBNA board met with Walt Mills & John Barry of the City today about parking lot aesthetics.  They have taken our sketch onboard and will get back to us.  Also discussed:
• the West corner of the new lot. They say not allowed for parking space. Neither for green space.  Poor planning for this corner.
• the new lot constructed over privately owned land.
• provide resident access to the harbour.
We can provide details at the AGM - next Tuesday.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

ALL MEMBERS! Annual General Meeting April 3

Notice of Third Annual General Meeting
WHEN:  Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Pearcey’s Twine Store, 27 Outer Battery Road
The third Annual General Meeting of the Membership of Outer Battery Neighbourhood Association Inc. will cover four items of business:
1.     Distribution of Minutes of the 2011 Annual General Meeting;
2.     Presentation of the 2011 Financials;
3.     Election of Directors (Membership vote); and
4.     Updated Constitution (Membership vote). 

Please join us after the business meeting for a review of the past year and a Membership question period.
 As a quorum is needed to conduct the business of the AGM we would appreciate if you would let us know if you will be in attendance by emailing to or calling 722-0283.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Parking Lot - remediation

Here is the sketch that came out of our February 23rd discussion session.  Thanks v much to Wes.  It combines some of the ideas from the three design concepts provided by professionals (Tract Consulting, Jokinen Associates, and the province's Director of Heritage).  You can see all these on the DOCUMENTS tab.
The objective is to remediate what the city has constructed to make the concrete wall fit in better with the general heritage look of Outer Battery as seen from the water.  To break up the 2-dimensional flatness, face it with wood, partially hide the waste water pipe,  give the whole thing a more traditional appearance.  None of this affects the existing parking area as seen from the land side much.
The OBNA board hopes to sit down with City staff soon to discuss these ideas.  If you missed the Feb 23rd session and want to have some input - great. Contact Ange, Joanne, Keith or Chris if you like. (Judy is currently out of the country) And/or leave a comment below here.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Parking lot discussion

Thanks to everyone who turned up tonight to puzzle out ways to improve the look of the parking lot.  The meeting came up with some ideas, and based on that Wes will be doing up a sketch shortly.  We'll circulate the sketch around the neighbourhood for feedback.

Sunday 19 February 2012

Neighbourhood discussion session Thursday 6.30

Charlie Pearcey has offered the use of his twinestore for any of us interested in getting together on Thursday night for a discussion session.  The City has said that they will consider neighbourhood suggestions for improving the aesthetics of the new parking lot, so if you have any design ideas please come and share them, and maybe we can come up with a consensus.  The City is suggesting a TRACT Consulting proposal to clad the concrete with wood, viewable here and here.   Also if you're interested in getting involved with the proposed Narrows Group, want information or have concerns about it, this is a good forum to discuss that too.
This isn't a special association meeting, it's just a neighbourhood discussion session for anyone interested.  The City won't be there.  Here's a suggested agenda, thanks to Joanne. Thursday, Feb 23rd at 6.30 in Pearcey's Twinestore

Thursday 16 February 2012

Feb 16 City meeting re guidelines

Today's Telegram report on last night's meeting is now linked on our PRESS tab.  Also here

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Fort Amherst neighbourhood association

Tonight the residents of Fort Amherst  formed a neighbourhood steering committee named FANA: Fort Amherst Neighbourhood Association.

Thursday 9 February 2012

Ryan Cleary meeting

MP Ryan Cleary has sent flyers around the neighbourhood and has scheduled a Public Meeting for the Residents of the Narrows, February12th 2-5 PM Foran Room, City Hall, and his office advises:
"This meeting will strengthen and formalize our group’s request to the City Planning Department for a Planning Area Development Scheme.  MP Ryan Cleary will introduce “The Narrows: A Vision for the Gateway to St. John’s ”.  A discussion and formalization of the resident’s working groups will allow the overall group to formally request that the city of St. John’s move forward on this important planning activity.  The Outer Battery Neighbourhood Association will be present and we are hoping to have representation from both sides of the Narrows in order to best move forward. Who Should be there? Residents of Fort Amherst, The Battery, and The Outer Battery." 

Thursday 2 February 2012


First plow came down at 12.20pm today to unblock the road from last night's snowfall. Anyone have any comments to make about this year's snowclearing?  Better or worse than previous years?

Monday 30 January 2012

3 principles for City developments on Outer Battery

OBNA wrote the city Jan 18th recommending 3 general principles to be considered for City development initiatives on Outer Battery, and asking that the new parking lot development be remediated accordingly. You can read it on the DOCUMENTS tab or directly here.  Our ward councillor replied: I wish to thank you for sending me a copy of your correspondence and undoubtedly Mr.Barry will be getting back to you in due course. Frank Galgay....Ward 2 Councillor
OBNA will follow up if further response is not forthcoming.

Saturday 28 January 2012

That City Meeeting Feb 15-details

We have noticed this in yesterday's City's Weekly Information List:
The St. John's Municipal Council is holding a public meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. in the Foran/Greene Room, 4th floor of St. John's City Hall. The purpose is to discuss a draft report of the Battery Development Guidelines Study for Non-Residential Properties.
Several years ago, Council adopted development guidelines for residential properties in the Battery neighbourhood. The new report looks at non-residential properties, including stages and wharves on the waterfront. The report reviews existing properties in the Battery neighbourhood and suggests whether they can be built on, and to what extent, while trying to preserve people's views of the harbour and Southside Hills and ensuring that any new development is in scale and character with existing houses and buildings. (Ward 2)
The recommendations in the report are a draft, and the public meeting is a forum to discuss these recommendations. The meeting will be chaired by a member of Council."

We obtained a copy of this city Guidelines study from Ryan Cleary's office.  It's posted on our DOCUMENTS tab, or go directly here.

Thursday 19 January 2012

Free Dishwasher (see comment)

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Jokinen report still hanging

Eric Jokinen advises that his final report on Outer Battery heritage fishing structures may be ready later this winter.  It's being compiled for the provincial Heritage Foundation at OBNA's instigation, and was expected 6 months ago.

Battery Book - only 40 left!

The initial print run (150 copies) of our OUT TO THE BATTERY book is sold out!  
HOWEVER... there was a print overrun at the printers.  We're arranging to buy those from them: that will be 40 extra copies, and that's all there is.  So if you want one of those, contact Chris (576-0359) , Angie (722-0283), or Joanne (722-4999) before they're gone.
We're looking into the affordability of getting more printed for wider distribution in Spring, if we can.  It seems to be popular.

Viewplane study

The City has not forwarded the PHB Group's Viewplane Study Recommendations to be discussed at their February 15th public meeting.  Fortunately MP Ryan Cleary's office has done so, and it is available now on our DOCUMENTS tab.  Have a look if you're planning to attend the City meeting.  It's at 7pm Feb 15th at City Hall.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

City Meeting re ? (Viewplane regulations)

Ryan Cleary's (MP) office has notified us that: 
 "a report has been released which was prepared by the PHB Architects Group on behalf of the City regarding non-residential properties in the Battery area. This report will be discussed at a public meeting organized by the city onFebruary 15 at City Hall. Representatives from the PHB Architects Group will be present at the meeting to answer questions."
Chris asked Ward Councillor Galgay about this meeting, and he confirms that it is scheduled; the City had neglected to notify Outer Battery residents.  City hasn't sent OBNA a copy of the report, but we think it extends viewplane guidelines to cover fishing premises.