Route 40 busi­ness seeks ap­proval for me­tals fur­nace

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CH­ERYL MAT­TIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— B&H Auto Parts on Route 40 is one step closer to gain­ing ap­proval to op­er­ate a se­condary alu­minum sweat fur­nace on its prop­erty while get­ting re­lief from buf­fer re­quire­ments.

Rick Polan­sky, pres­i­dent of Com­plete Re­cy­cling Group, re­ceived a rec­om­men­da­tion for ap­proval of a spe­cial ex­cep­tion from the Ce­cil County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion on Mon­day, but the Ce­cil County Board of Appeals will make the fi­nal de­ci­sion on his re­quest af­ter a hear­ing at their next meet­ing at 7 p.m. June 28 in the Elk Room of the County Ad­min­is­tra­tion

ELKTON

Build­ing in Elkton.

Once he re­ceives lo­cal zon­ing ap­proval, Polan­sky still must meet all reg­u­la­tory stan­dards for air qual­ity set by the Maryland De­part­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, which he pre­dicts could take up to a year, be­fore he can op­er­ate the fur­nace.

Proponents and opponents weighed in dur­ing pub­lic com­ment Mon­day night.

Two peo­ple tes­ti­fied in fa­vor of the pro­posal, along with 15 let­ters of sup­port that were sub­mit­ted, while five spoke against it and an­other five sup­ported the op­po­si­tion.

Earl Piner, an Elkton town com­mis­sioner, and Paul Granger, owner of a nearby busi­ness, sup­ported the spe­cial ex­cep­tion, saying it’s good for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and will be up to MDE if it meets stan­dards.

“We en­cour­age Granger said.

One man spoke on be­half of his parents, who live across Route 40 from the pro­posed fur­nace op­er­a­tion.

“We want to be sure this op­er­ates ac­cu­rately,” Daniel Gold­stein said, not­ing he and his parents are con­cerned about po­ten­tial car­cino­gens that could be emit­ted into the air.

“The let­ter we re­ceived about this raised red flags,” nearby prop­erty owner Martha Har­ris added. “We’re this,” for re­cy­cling, but we worry about cancer.”

There are 14 homes within 500 feet of the pro­posed fur­nace, in­clud­ing that of Mary K. Parks, who has lived nearby for 65 years and also raised con­cerns about pos­si­ble car­cino­gens.

Ce­cil County Plan­ning and Zon­ing staff also rec­om­mended ap­proval of the re­quest con­tin­gent upon all state and fed­eral ap­provals.

Polan­sky ex­plained that his fam­ily has been in the auto parts busi­ness since 1955 and have op­er­ated B&H Auto Parts since the early 1990s. Over the years, the busi­ness has evolved to­ward more and more re­cy­cling ef­forts.

Com­plete Re­cy­cling Group cur­rently hauls scrap metal from B&H to an out-of­county pro­ces­sor to sep­a­rate out alu­minum for re­cy­cling, but this pro­ce­dure is costly and time con­sum­ing, Polan­sky said. That’s why they want to do the pro­cess­ing in­side their new 80-foot-by120-foot build­ing along with a chim­ney stack and an af­ter­burner, or a de­vice that uses con­trolled flame com­bus­tion to con­vert air pol­lu­tants to less harm­ful sub­stances.

The sweat fur­nace heats up to 1,600 de­grees to melt away the alu­minum from steel com­ing from scrap ve­hi­cles, and then it is poured into molds for re­sale use to man­u­fac­tur­ers of car wheels or soda cans.

“This ma­chine would al­low us to up­grade the scrap ma­te­rial, cre­ate 10 to 15 new jobs and keep the busi­ness in Ce­cil County,” Polan­sky said. “The state of Maryland mon­i­tors this process daily and it is tested for emis­sions com­pli­ance.”

At­tor­ney Karl Fock­ler, who rep­re­sented Polan­sky at the plan­ning com­mis­sion Mon­day, said set­backs and other cri­te­ria for a haz­ardous waste in­cin­er­a­tor, which burns about 2,200 de­grees, are much more strin­gent, but, “This is not a haz­ardous waste in­cin­er­a­tor.”

The B&H Auto Parts prop­erty, which is owned by Eric and Charmie Polan­sky, is al­ready zoned M-2, or heavy in­dus­trial.

“This zon­ing al­lows pro­cess­ing of ma­te­ri­als and re­cy­cling,” Fock­ler noted.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

B&H Auto Parts is one step closer to zon­ing that would al­low an alu­minum sweat fur­nace for re­cy­cling pur­poses, though it faces some lo­cal con­cerns.

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