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Old 05-30-2018, 09:28 PM   #349
TheOldMan
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Default Report on reopening of Vulcan Plant

While I would prefer to watch a video (which I cannot find), of the Conway City Council meeting concerning reopening the Vulcan plant, I did find a good newspaper report which gave a lot of pertinent details.

From the Horry Independent, May 24, 2018, Page A5

Stone crushing passes first test with Conway council

BY KATHY ROPP
KATHY.ROPP@MYHORRYNEWS.COM

The residents of Wild Wing had some heavy competition Monday night when
they tried to convince the Conway City Council not to give Vulcan Materials a
heavy industrial zoning classification that would allow for stone crusing on
Yeager Avenue.

In favor of the rezoning were Castle Engineering, Vulcan Materials, the RJ
Corman Railroad and the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development
Corporation, whose officials all argued that the stone crushing plant will
diversify Conway's economy, bring good jobs and take trucks off of U.S.
501 bypass.

The residents, who crowded into council chambers, even forced to stand
around the walls, all worry that the plant will cause noise pollution.

Vulcan previously operated at the site, but stopped in 2001 because
reliable rail service was no longer available.

After hearing debate on the issue, council voted to give first reading to
the rezoning. Councilman William Goldfinch was not at the meeting.

Wild Wing resident Karin Krauss pointed out that five years ago, the area
near the plant had fewer than 400 resients, but today it has 3,500 within
one-square mile of the proposed plant.

She said the plant will be adjacent to a new student housing complex
going up on U.S. 501, a residential development planned for 600 residents
and the new Ekklesia Church, under construction with plans to open in
October with 300 congregants, hoping to grow to 600.

She said residents want a vibrant Conway, but Vulcan and its stone
crushing will present safety and health problems.

Erin Pate, a regional director for the Coastal Conservation League,
backed up Krauss' concerns.

She said crushing concrete might be a worthy practice because of
the potential reuse of the concrete, but it carries a variety of problems
for people who live nearby.

She says products stored on the site will eventually seep into the
stormwater system. She classified the harmful substances as salt,
heavy metal, lead and asbestos.

She says crushing also creates dust that can release crystallized silica
that the Occupational Safety and Health Act requires companies to
protect their employees from.

Workers wear masks to avoid breathing it, but nearby residents aren't
protected, she said.

She said council needs to protect the well being of its constituents.

"This should be a real easy decision for you to make," she said.

Elliott Botzis, vice president and general manager of Vulcan's South
Carolina operations, told council that his company has 15 sites in
South Carolina, so it has the resources, experience and knowledge to
back up what it does.

He estimates that using the train to transport its product will take
between 22,000 and 34,000 trucks off of U.S. 501 bypass and that
will improve the area's air quality.

He said crushed stone is used in building roads, bridges, hospitals,
libraries and places of worship.

His company recycles concrete, so it is not deposited in the landfill.
He said the company will use a portable crusher, and crushing will
not go on continuously at the plant.

The company's top priority, he said, is the health and safety of its
employees, and it goes above and beyond to protect residents.
He vowed that the company will fully comply with all local, state and
federal guidlines.

He also questioned if silica really causes health problems saying
doctors say they've never seen a credible case of anyone sickened
by it.

He says his company is a good corporate citizen helping with Adopt
A School programs and giving financial suppport to athletic and
school causes.

He said that South Carolina operation of Vulcan has complied zero
accidents and zero citations, and he's not aware of any problem with
stormwater runoff.

Ed Quinn, president and CEO of RJ Corman Railroad Group, said
from the time the company came to Horry County until the year 2022,
Corman will have spent $45 million on infrastructure for this community.

He said the rail takes tens of thousands of trucks off the roads and the
ratio of greenhouse gas is 75 percent lower for rail over truck transportation.

Fred Richardson, past chairman of the MBREDC did not attend Monday's
meeting, but he sent along a letter of support for the company, saying it will
diversify the economy and create higher paying jobs for the area.

He also pointed out that the property is already in a highly-industrialized
area, and wrote that Vulcan was there before any houses were bult in
Wild Wing.

"Let's work together to keep Horry County strong," he wrote.

Councilwoman Jean Timbes said her tenure on council has created very
few situations that are as comlex as this one.

She told the residents that council wants to keep them happy, but it must
consider keeping Conway viable so it won't end up like some small South
Carolina towns that are boarded up.

She said Conway won't continue to exist if it doesn't have industry, and good
roads are important.

She's also glad to support the railroad saying, "I'm so pleased that Corman is
here. We have to keep the railroad running as well."

She gave strong support to Vulcan saying that it is a reputable company and
she believes it will keep any issues as small as possible.

The company is required to have a 25-foot landscape buffer, but its officials
have agreed to a minimum 50-foot landscape buffer adjacent to properties
zoned for residential uses.

Before Monday's meeting, the Conway Planning Commission voted 4-3 against
recommending the zoning change to city council, so it came without a
recommendation, according to city planner Mary Catherine Hyman.

She said the commission was concerned about air quality due to dust and
contamininants, noise and the nearness to residential properties. The
property is zoned for limited industrial uses now.
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