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Fri, Jul 25, 2014 08:41 AM
Issue of July 23, 2014
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MAC plans new asphalt plant in HC


July 16, 2014 | 11:21 AM

Harrison County may be home to a new asphalt plant, if plans come to fruition for a New Albany-based company.

MAC Construction has applied for a new source construction and Federally Enforceable State Operating Permit from the Office of Air Quality at the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management for a proposed Harrison County asphalt plant, according to Indiana Construction Information Network.

As part of the FESOP application process, a 30-day public notice period began on June 25 during which time residents have an opportunity to submit to IDEM their comments on the proposed plant or request a public meeting on the air permit issue.

Due to the years-long controversy surrounding the Jeffersonville MAC plant, a petition website has been set up to facilitate email requests for a public hearing on the air quality issue for the proposed Harrison County plant.

"The air quality for the residents of Harrison County and adjacent Crawford County is of the highest importance," the petition, created by David Williams of Union One, said. "MAC owns an asphalt plant in Jeffersonville, Indiana, which has been the continuous subject of complaints from Jeffersonville residents regarding issues surrounding emissions from the plant since at least 2007.

"Additionally, residents near the plant, concerned about the pollution emitting from the plant, have been involved in litigation against MAC over the plant since August 2010. Now MAC wants to place an asphalt plant in Harrison County. At the very least, the residents of Harrison County and surrounding counties should be entitled to a public hearing to voice any concerns and have their questions answered. The public deserves a voice. The public deserve a public hearing on this issue."

So far, as of Tuesday afternoon, nearly 500 people signed the petition for a public hearing.

The petition can be signed at www.change.org/petitions/indiana-department-of-environomental-management-idem-hold-a-public-hearing-on-the-proposed-mac-construction-asphalt-plant-in-harrison-county-indiana.

The Jeffersonville case, which was filed in Clark County Circuit Court in 2010, seeks to reverse the special exception zoning variance that was given to the plant by the City of Jeffersonville in 2005. The plaintiffs, a local resident and a local property owner, are among those who have repeatedly raised health concerns about the fumes from the plant. The City of Jeffersonville is also named in the suit.

The case was dismissed by the trial judge in 2011, but the residents appealed the dismissal to the Indiana Court of Appeals. In 2012, the court ruled in the residents' favor and remanded the case back to the trial court. The case is pending.

Twitter: @rossschulz

  1. print email
    July 17, 2014 | 08:33 AM

    There's an asphalt plant at the intersection of Quarry Road and Corydon-Ramsey Road. No one has ever complained about that.

  2. print email
    July 17, 2014 | 01:20 PM

    ^---the plant on Quarry Road has all the proper equipment and a specialized system for filtering residue, which eliminates the smell and smoke. MAC Construction currently does NOT utilize these protections, and that is why people in Jeffersonville have such an issue with them. It's my guess that they wouldn't utilize these protections in Corydon, either.

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