While both sides have there reasons, there were a lot of opinions flying around and statements from people on both sides. Mostly Hear Say. A Luther Professor presented quite a few pieces of paper showing studies of the pollutants and particulates produced from Asphalt production Plants. The Asphalt guys said "They did a study once that proved this
It seemed odd to me that
- The Zoning Commission took comments for an hour and a half from concerned citizens opposing the proposed Asphalt Plant location.
- Then they closed the public hearing.
- They moved the approval of the Asphalt plant from the first thing in the meeting to the end of the meeting.
- Many of the Public left.
- Zoning commission approves rezoning for the proposed Asphalt Plant location.
This is the Post from www.DecorahNews.com:
Positive recommendation goes to County Supervisors on asphalt plant
Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Currently Bruening operates a hot mix plant off Montgomery Street in Decorah. Keith Bruening of Bruening Rock Products, as well as a representative from Mathy Construction of LaCrosse (operator of the new plant) attempted to counter claims of increased truck traffic and suggested that since the quarry already supplied rock for the hot mix, then mixing there would not increase traffic and would improve efficiency. They assured the audience of strict compliance with the DNR and EPA regulations. Bruening also mentioned the convenience, cost factor, and economic/employment impact of retaining such a facility in the county. The plan would include taking down the existing plant, and replacing it with a newer, more efficient and environmentally sensitive plant in the quarry.
Numerous concerns were expressed regarding health and safety issues: air quality, numerous health implications associated with the pollutants, run off concerns, problems caused by air inversion in the summer, and an especially dangerous and deteriorating roadway. Another concern was regarding the height of the emission stack, which may not even extend beyond the top layer of the quarry. Ken Eide, County Zoning Administrator, refuted claims regarding the questionable public notification process and said all had been done in accordance with established policy.
Ultimately the board voted 4-2 in favor of the conditional use approval, recommending that conditions include stack monitoring and run off monitoring at a minimum of twice per year. They acknowledged serious road problems and hoped that the county would address that concern. The consensus seemed to be that, in spite of the objections raised, their role was to recommend based on a list of criteria for conditional use permits (including items such as burden on the infrastructure, compatibility with existing properties, appearance, and county needs) and let the DNR and EPA be responsible for evaluating and monitoring health and environmental standards.
The recommendation will go to the County Board of Supervisors for action.