Appeals board grants zoning approval for sweat furnace
— The Cecil County Board of Appeals unanimously granted a special exception and buffer requirement relief Tuesday night to Complete Recycling Group for installation of a sweat furnace on the property of B&H Auto Parts.
The request had already received recommendations for approval from both the Cecil County Planning Commission and the staff in the county’s planning office with the stipulation that the sweat furnace operation meets all of the regulatory requirements for air quality emissions set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of the Environment.
Rick Polansky, owner of Complete Recycling Group, will now begin meeting with MDE officials to secure their approval for all state requirements. Polansky said last week that he thinks this could be a lengthy process of up to a year.
The request had support from several commercial neighbors, but also garnered opposition from a few residential neighbors, who feared the operation could emit harmful pollutants in the nearby area.
Polansky explained that his family has been in the auto parts business since 1955 and has operated B&H Auto Parts since the early 1990s. The family entered the recycling business four years ago.
Complete Recycling Group currently hauls scrap metal from B&H to an out-of-county processor to separate out aluminum for recycling, but this
A new sign at the entrance to the Northeast Plaza facing Route 272 will be enlarged and revamped to accommodate all tenants in the plaza after the existing one will have to be removed for a state project.
procedure is costly and time consuming, they said. That’s why they want to do the processing inside their new 80-by-120-foot building, which is where the sweat furnace would be installed, along with a chimney stack and an after-burner, 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 metal from vehicles and then it is poured into 1,500-pound 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 pro- cess daily and it is tested for emissions compliance.”
Attorney Karl Fockler, who represented Polansky at the planning commission last week and again at the Board of Appeals meeting Tuesday, 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 heavy industrial.
“This zoning allows processing of materials and recycling,” Fockler said.
In other business, the Board of Appeals approved a 176-square-foot variance for additional signage on the Northeast Plaza entrance sign facing Route 272.
The request was submitted by Barbara Pollitt, of Pollitt Signs, who explained the change was necessary because Maryland State Highway pedestrian improvements proposed for the intersection of Route 40 and Route 272 will eliminate one of the plaza’s two large signs.
“Since the stores aren’t visible from the intersection and we have more tenants in the plaza now, there’s a need to enlarge the existing sign nearest Dunkin Donuts,” said John R. Peters, director of retail operations for Cordish Companies, owner of the plaza. “We’ve had two pylon signs for the last 30 years and now, we’ll only have one.”
The pylon sign nearest the intersection will be removed to make room for a new stormwater facility and sidewalks, Peters explained to the appeals panel Tuesday.
The existing sign will be renovated to add more spaces for all tenants located in Northeast Plaza to be listed, re-arranging the store names and upgrading its lighting to LED.
B&H Auto Parts received zoning approval from the Cecil County Board of Appeals this week as it pursues an aluminum sweat furnace for recycling purposes.