Before I talk a bit about this weekend, I would like to restate once again that we are not against the smelter coming to La Paz County, we are just against it being in the location the company has chosen. Because of a Facebook exchange that occured this weekend, it seems that when you talk about why it presents a danger being located in a population center, people think you oppose it entirely, this is not the case. The smelter can be located in a more appropriate location that befits modern sustainable planning and the benefits of jobs will still be in La Paz County!
I was busy sending emails to County officials this weekend. I sent three to them on various aspects of this project and here is the copy of just one of them:
Hi all. I want to express another concern about the proposed smelter and to ask you to not approve this project.
Even Loren Barton, the VP for Alliance Metals, has admitted privately to me that this is not an ideal location for their factory. That is based on the fact that transportation is not ideal, they have no ready access to rail and they are having a very difficult time finding qualified people that they can hire.
Transportation is the point of this email.
Based on the published information provided to ADEQ, this facility will process 87,600 tons of aluminum. They have also stated that they will be operating 24/7. Based on that information and doing some simple math here is the result. There will be 584 50,000 pound semi trucks per month on our roads carrying their raw material and finished product. That does not include service trucks, employees, etc. They have told me that their biggest customers/vendors would be Ecology, CA and Phoenix. That means that they will be traveling on Highway 60, Salome Road and Centennial Road.
With that amount of increased truck traffic two issues come up. One is if these roads are designed to handle this kind of traffic (I know that Centennial Road and probably Salome Road are not). Second is safety. The trucks would be coming directly through Salome with some directly past the High School. I have asked via email, Mr. Sullivan to make an assessment regarding the impact of this increased traffic but have received no response. We have a significant traffic issue in the area as it stands due to the increased truck traffic because of the increased farming. This will just make matters worse.
I believe that it is in the best interest of the community and of the County to insist that the company perform a traffic assessment by a credible company experienced in these matters. It should include things like pull offs, traffic lights, etc. To protect the roads and the people in the community I feel that this is an essential part of the approval process. The company should be forced to pay for such a study and as well as any upgrades necessary to handle this amount of increased traffic.
I should also point out that many of these trucks will be handling hazardous waste. According to the company’s application for their Air Quality Control permit, they will be receiving dross (EPA listed hazardous material), transmissions (which haven’t been cleaned and will contain oils and other hazardous materials) and other “unclean charge”. That is the term that ADEQ and EPA use for the material they will be receiving. This information is in their application and in the Draft Permit. They will also be receiving chlorine by truck to refill their 30,000 tank on site. They will be shipping salt cake, which is the final by-product of the smelting process. This also is a hazardous material. There will be a considerable amount of the increased truck traffic.
I ask that this study be done before any consideration is given to approving this project.
As always, we do not oppose this project in La Paz County. We feel strongly that it does not belong in this location.