by KAITLYN NAPLES
Plainville residents have been sharing their concerns over the last few months about the possible move of Phoenix Soil, a soil-recycling business, to Plainville from Waterbury. Last week, members of the public were able to hear straight from the company’s owner, David Green how the company operates. They also could share their concerns and ask him questions directly.
Phoenix is still in the process of being cleared for the move. However, the company has already received the blessing from the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission. For a business to move into town, it does not require any approval from the Town Council or the citizens of Plainville. However, some residents have said in the past they wanted to be able to vote on the move. Residents have been most concerned about what actually happens at the Phoenix Soil facility, and what will be emitting out of 115 foot stack.
“We clean things, we don’t dirty things,” Green said at a public information session and hearing put on by the Town Council last week. His wife, Jean, added she and her husband are in the “environmental business because we care about the environment.”
Green spent a little over an hour describing how his company heats contaminated soil, soil that has been tainted by certain oils and fuels, and rids it of the contamination in a careful process. Green then said the company will turn around and is able to sell that clean soil, which can be used for development projects and more. He said the company regulates what level of contamination in the soil it accepts.
“We know we’re getting everything we are supposed to,” Green said, adding that each truck that comes to the facility is tested before any soil drops off the truck.
Tests done by Phoenix and governmental agencies like the states Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, have shown the company emits less than half of the hazardous materials during the contamination process, allowed by its permits. The permits are issued by governmental agencies that determine how much hazardous material is safe enough.
“We make clean air and clean soil,” Green told the large crowd at the hearing. “We are a very regulated facility.”
Green said six individuals from Plainville have taken him up on his offer to visit the facility in Waterbury to see first hand how things are done. Green said that offer still stands to anyone interested. He said he believes the more knowledge people have of the facility, the less frightened they will be.
If the facility comes to Plainville, Green said Phoenix will be making two additions to the facility. There will be a wet scrubber and a tire wash that he couldn’t be installed in Waterbury. This will reduce stack emissions and stop tainted soil from being carried out by trucks.
Some residents were concerned with the amount of traffic that will be on North Washington Street, or Route 177, where the facility is expected to be located. Green said the maximum tonnage allowable each day is 600 tons, which comes to about 30 trucks. However, he said that is the maximum allowable, and doesn’t happen everyday.
Bill Gamin said where Phoenix Soil is supposed to be moving to, the former site of the Atlantic Pipe Co., has had flooding issues in the past. Gamin said he was concerned about the facility flooding and contaminated soil seeping out into the streets and the Pequabuck River. Green said there will be concrete barriers around the facility to control flooding, and contaminated soil always will be kept inside the building.
The company, Green said, is expected to bring 55 jobs to Plainville and will generate about $1 million in business to the local economy. According to the DEEP website, Phoenix Soil has requested a public hearing to be put on by DEEP. The website said permits are currently being reviewed by the state agency and notice will be issued when a public hearing is scheduled.
by KAITLYN NAPLES