Task Force gives Nod of Approval




Task Force: Keith Brazzell (l), Tate & Lyle plant mgr, Dennis Brennan, Viskase employee, Deeder Easter, Loudon City rep., Dr. Bud Guider, Chair Mike Crosby, retired rubber exec. Villager, & Comm. Don Miller, retired Exxon Exec. Villager.


Task Force examines ready mix plant & particulates issue


By: Pat Hunter

August 27, 2008


Loudon County does not meet federal regulations on ozone and fine particulate (PM 2.5) pollution. The planning commission delayed taking action on a site review plan until the air quality task force could give input about the proposed ready mix plant.


The Loudon County Air Quality Task Force met on Aug. 27th and one item on the agenda was discussion of a ready mix facility by Vanhooseco, which was put to rest by the task force.  Commissioner Don Miller echoed the opinion of Vic Malichis, TDEC air quality manager. Malichis was absent at Wednesday’s meeting but at last month’s task force meeting Malichis, a task force member; felt that ready mix facilities were low emitters of pollution.


Miller’s motion was that a public hearing would not be required due to the low levels of emissions. The task force felt that the proposed emission controls technology, would meet or exceed state requirements. The motion was seconded by outgoing Commissioner Shirley Reno, which was unanimously approved.


Information was provided by Jeff Van-Hoose to the air quality task force for their review. Rusty Baska introduced himself as the engineering company representing Jeff Van-Hoose. He distributed additional information to the air quality task force.


Baska said that this matter had come before the Loudon City Planning Commission, the month before last requesting a review of the site plan for the ready mix plant. The proposed plant will be located next to Tate & Lyle (a/k/a A.E. Staley) in the Blairbend Industrial Park. The planning commission did not want to act until they had an approved application from the state (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation - TDEC) or some feel for how the Loudon County Air Quality Task felt about the project. This matter came before the air quality task force last month but no action was taken because of a lack of a quorum.


The air quality task force wanted to know how much fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) would be emitted from the plant and information quantifying the amount of particulates was sent to the task force via email. 


Baska informed the task force that he expected a public hearing announcement in the newspaper about the proposed permit. The permit application is in the hands of TDEC and TDEC will wait to see if there is any public comment about the ready mix business. Baska said that they were before the task force to find out how the task force felt about this issue before going back before the planning commission. In essence the planning commission was waiting on a recommendation from the task force or approval from the state (TDEC) on an air permit, whichever came first. The ready mix concrete plant will use bag house technology. One task force member commented that the emission control technology looked “great.”  Van-Hoose purchased expensive equipment to meet or exceed state requirements on emissions.


An aggregate will be fly ash transported from Cumberland City. One task force member was concerned about the dust to transport the fly ash. A separate permit was obtained by the state to address the sludge, which will be contained in a concrete trough. The water will then go into a basin or process pond, which would be regulated by the state.


One task force wanted to know why Van-Hoose was locating in Loudon County. Baska replied that Van-Hoose was a Loudon County property owner. Van-Hoose had purchased 33 acres, which is zoned M-2. Van-Hoose said that he was not aware of the air problems since this had not been a problem in the past for ready mix plants and that it was a minimal problem for TDEC. Mike Crosby, LCAQTF chairman, said that he had spoken to Vic Malichis by phone and that there was no doubt that TDEC would issue the air permit because of the emission controls specified on the permit paperwork.


Jeff Van-Hoose mentioned that the Chairman of the planning commission was about to approve his request but that planner Russ Newman didn’t recommend that they approve it because he had told somebody else that they had to wait. Newman wanted to be consistent with what he told the other company but the site plan had nothing to do with the air permit.


Chairman Crosby asked the other task force members if they should respond to the planning commission. Commissioner Don Miller felt that they should and other task force members agreed. Miller was glad to see the planning commission ask for the task force’s input. Dr. Bud Guider said that he was present at the planning meeting regarding another matter but it was his understanding that the planning commission wanted for the task force to look at the issue to see if the dust issue would be significant enough to warrant a public hearing and the public be involved in the process.


The air quality task force makes recommendations to local government and is an advisory body comprised of the three largest polluters, government officials, a physician and two citizens. All members on the task force must be approved by all three government bodies.