Concerns abound over asphalt plant

Ballston planners may require additional environmental review

— Some residents grumbled at this statement, feeling the chance of any environmental impact was too much of a risk.

Robert O'Neal, a consultant with Epsilon Associates, Inc. with expertise in noise impact assessments and air quality modeling, said emissions from the plant would be minor, especially since the state regulates and oversees emissions with monthly and annual record keeping to “ensure compliance.”

O’Neal said there is not odor emitted from the company's plant in Watervliet and any odor or emissions that occur would disperse by the time it reached the nearest resident a half-mile away.

Resident David Pierce, a member of the local Citizens for a Clean Environment group, said during the public comment period that research he’s done online shows thousands of tons of chemicals are released into the air each year by asphalt plants.

He said according to research provided to him by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, “hazardous air pollutants are emitted by asphalt plants, either as vapor or particles. Some particles are captured by hazardous pollutant control devices, but some are not.”

Ferradino said his research is most likely based on information concerning emissions from petroleum byproducts during the creation of liquid asphalt, a process that would not occur at the plant in Ballston.

The information provided by the BREDF also said one such chemical emission from hot mix asphalt plants was methylene chloride, a know carcinogen. However, a study done by the United States Environmental Protection Agency on hot mix asphalt plant emissions in 2000 showed none of the chemical is expected to be emitted during typical batch and drum HMA processes.

So far, the board and Callanan Industries have been using the standards set by the State Environmental Quality Review Act as a guide. At its Jan. 26 meeting, the board will decide if it feels an environmental impact study is needed before moving ahead with the plan further.

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