Bennett avoids federal review for NB facility, appoints new board

The Federal Court has quashed the decision to form a panel for an environmental review into Bennett Environmental Inc.’s new Belledune, New Brunswick soil treatment facility.

In his ruling on August 19, 2004, Judge Harrington said that the panel review process is intended for projects in their planning stage. When former Environment Minister David Anderson called for the panel review, the Bennett facility in Belledune was already 90 per cent complete. The review was to consider transboundary environmental impact under provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The company’s stock fell by nearly a quarter in July after the company announced it would not start operations at Belledune because a key customer, the Federal Creosote site in New Jersey, cut soil shipments by one-third. Bennett later revealed that it faced a class action lawsuit over the revised Federal Creosote contract, alleging that Bennett made misrepresentations and omissions regarding the deal. This situation is under investigation.

In other news, company founder John Bennett announced his resignation as chairman of the board on August 26. Mr. Bennett says he would like to reduce his workload and spend more time with his family. He will remain a director of the company.

David Williams has succeeded Mr. Bennett as chairman. Mr. Williams, director of the corporation since 2002, has also been chair of the Audit Committee. In addition, Mr. Williams is president of Roxborough Holdings Ltd., a private investment company and has extensive experience in the Canadian investment community.

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