Proposed zinc recycling plant faces backlash

Residents in Cass County are showing concern about a proposed zinc recycling plant that would be built just west of Logansport in the Cass County Agribusiness Park.

Posted: May 13, 2020 6:21 PM

CASS COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Cass County residents say they are not happy about a proposed zinc recycling plant.

The plant would be built just west of Logansport in the Cass County Agribusiness Park.

Cass County is already laying the ground for a proposed zinc recycling plant, but residents are not happy.

"It's not a matter of if this is going to build up and cause problems, it's a matter of when," said Logansport resident Bryon Stephens.

Like many others, Stephens is trying to fight the plant's development.

A website created by the Cass County Citizen Coalition has been circulating highlighting various concerns.

Stephen said it's about the potential health hazards such a plant could bring.

"We know the medical community is squarely aligned that these things are not good for us. So we wanted to make sure we got involved in that and started to really become educated in that and share to word with the community," said Stephens.

According to Stephens, the community has more than 4,000 signatures on a petition opposing the plant.

Ali Alavi is the Sr. Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Heritage Environmental Services. The company is one of the joint partners in the project.

Alavi said they are committed to following state and federal emission guidelines.

"We will have to operate under an air permit issued by IDEM that will have been reviewed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency with very strict emission limits," said Alavi.

Cass County Commissioners believe the project will bring benefit to the county.

A statement provided to News 18 by Commissioner Jim Sailors reads:

"As Cass County Commissioners, the health and safety of our citizens is our top priority. We can assure you this project will not adversely affect the health of Cass County, but rather provide over 90 good-paying jobs and significant revenue to the county to improve our education, health, safety and infrastructure."

Alavi said his company is looking forward to meeting with Cass County residents to address any concerns. Alavi said they are looking into holding public, virtual town halls to help answer any questions

Commissioners added they plan to hold open discussions between the community, experts and plant developers once restrictions due to COVID-19 are lifted.

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