Construction materials company gets permit for operation near Southbridge neighborhood

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The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin has issued a Secretary’s Order granting an air quality construction permit for Walan Specialty Construction Products, LLC’s slag-grinding, drying and processing facility in Wilmington.

The Secretary’s Order indicates that feedback received throughout the public comment period following a Nov. 20, 2018 DNREC public hearing has resulted in an air quality permit that includea dust control plan and control measures not included in Walan’s permit application.

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The site is near the Southbridge neighborhood. Residents have opposed various projects in the area that are often tied to the Port of Wilmington, claiming the area is used as a dumping ground for industries that would not think of locating in higher-income areas.

Truck traffic has also been an issue as activity increases at the port, which employs some Southbridge residents.

The facility would take slag from ships and process for use in construction materials.

According to the order, measures have been incorporated into the permit that will require Walan Specialty Construction Products to minimize the impactfrom the company’s operation.

These include the facility using state-of-the-art technology to control particulate dust-related emissions from the drying and grinding operations, and implementing best practices to maintain a neat and orderly work environment.

Other measures to minimize environmental impacts include limiting truck activity onsite to paved surfaces. Truck loading of Walan Specialty Construction Products’ finished product will use a sealed chute going to enclosed trucks within a bay utilizing curtain doors in the loading areas. Prior to processing, granulated blast furnace slag stored onsite will be tarped. The permit also includes a throughput limit of 150,000 tons per year of slag (a 43 percent reduction from the permit application), resulting in lower permitted emissions than figures presented by Walan at the DNREC public hearing last November.

The facility has also committed to transporting products via truck routes that avoid neighborhoods, performing daily inspections of the hauling route to the facility, and promptly cleaning up any spilled material.

These offsite measures, as well as the onsite tarps and installation of curtain doors for the truck loading area, are the direct result of feedback received at the hearing and during the public comment period.

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