Asphalt plant OK in ADEM check

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

While there was no quorum at the regularly scheduled River Falls council meeting on Tuesday night, those present heard from Rodney Hendrix of Wiregrass Constr-uction concerning a recent visit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Hendrix, whose company runs an asphalt plant on the site of the old plywood mill in River Falls, said a concerned resident contacted ADEM.

“We were blindsided,” he said. “We did have a complaint from a neighbor, but I spoke with the neighbor and thought things were OK.”

Hendrix said his company has made vast improvements to the plant by installing a quiet burner, switching from waste oil to natural gas, building storage bins and paving the site.

“We want to be good neighbors,” he said. “We paid $100,000 in taxes last year, and we’re likely to pay more than that this year.”

Hendrix said the issue was noise and dust.

River Falls Mayor Patricia Gunter said the town had received an email from ADEM saying a visit from the air quality division found nothing wrong.

“They checked it out and there was nothing out of compliance,” she said. “They did make some suggestions.”

Another issue is the odor that asphalt plans emit.

“ADEM does allow this type of plant a certain type of emissions,” Gunter said.

Hendrix said that the dust provides the highest amount of emissions at the plant.

“I don’t know a lot I could do,” he said.

Council members Mattie Freeney and Gary Wages agreed if they were in compliance the company should be OK.

“Unless ADEM tells you to do something you are OK,” Freeney said.

A public hearing will be held next Monday at 6 p.m., concerning a re-zoning. Following the public hearing, there will be council meeting.