Cement company to move forward with burning hazardous waste fuels

Essroc to move forward with burning hazardous waste fuels
Published: May. 18, 2016 at 7:47 PM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 1:08 PM EDT
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The hazardous waste fuel is repurposed from used products such as antifreeze and paint thinners...
The hazardous waste fuel is repurposed from used products such as antifreeze and paint thinners and is common in the cement industry. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

SELLERSBURG, IN (WAVE) - An appeal to prevent a cement company from burning hazardous waste fuel has been denied.

During a Board of Zoning meeting Wednesday evening, the board made its decision to deny the appeal, stating that the appeal isn't a zoning issue.

Essroc Cement Corporation applied for a permit that would allow the company to replace some of its coal use with liquid waste-derived fuel.

Several concerned neighbors attended the meeting, worried that the hazardous waste fuel, that will burn next to schools, homes and other businesses, is a threat to the community.

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An Essroc representative said the new fuel formula will help with the plant's emissions and assure longevity of the company's current location.

"The new fuel will contain solvents, acetone (which is nail polish remover), some paints, some inks and some dyes, Essroc's representative Michael Mchugh said. "They're classified as flammable and that is what we need in the kennel."

But, this formula is one several neighbors still refuse to accept.

"Our fear is for our health and safety," Karl Truman said.

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During the meeting, the board refused public comment and asked vocal neighbors to leave.

"I don't think justice was heard today," Truman said.

Neighbors opposed to the hazardous waste fuel can file a lawsuit against the dismissal of the appeal and it could be brought back before the Board of Zoning for another hearing.

However, Mchugh said the board made the right decision. The same fuel formula has been used at another location for 25 years without incident, according to Mchugh.

Truman isn't convinced.

"So, when this fuel is containing these heavy metals and it's coming down for animals to eat, birds to eat, affecting our water and food supply, how will this affect us long term?" Truman suggested.

Essroc has plans to utilize the alternative fuels by the end of the year, or early 2017, according to Mchugh.

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.