In this photo from Sept. 17, the WSP zinc plant construction continued.

On Monday, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management [IDEM] issued the draft operating permit for the zinc reclamation plant in the Cass County AgriBusinesss Park.

The permits will allow for a 30-day period for public comment and gives a notice of public hearing for the Waelz Sustainable Products [WSP] plant near Clymers.

A virtual public hearing will be held 5:30-9:30 p.m. on Dec. 17. Due to the virtual public hearing, IDEM’s Office of Air Quality has extended the comment period. All comments from the public must be postmarked, faxed, emailed or delivered in person by Dec. 21, the notice states.

“If approved by IDEM’s Office of Air Quality [OAQ], this proposed permit would allow Waelz Sustainable Products, LLC to construct and operate a new stationary source producing zinc oxide and iron product from Electric Arc Furnace [EAF] dust generated from steel mini-mills,” according to the notice.

“The applicant intends to construct and operate new equipment that will emit air pollutants. IDEM has reviewed this application, and has developed preliminary findings, consisting of a draft permit and several supporting documents, that would allow the applicant to construct and operate the proposed source,” the IDEM notice continues.

IDEM sent a copy of the draft permit and IDEM’s findings to the Logansport Cass County Public Library, 616 E. Broadway in Logansport.

Michael Englert, general manager of WSP, stated in a press release, “This is a critical step in our path to begin operations, and we look forward to continuing to work with IDEM as it completes its review and approval process.”

WSP has already been constructing the foundations and buildings at the site, but if IDEM grants the permit, the company can install the production and process equipment, the release states.

Speaking for the Cass County Citizens Coalition, the group of citizens against the controversial plant, Mercedes Brugh stated, “Soon we will be talking to CCCC members on our Facebook page about how to make the most of this hearing. We will also rely on experts to read the draft permit and prepare comments.”

For more information, visit www.in.gov/idem/files/notice_20201216_air_42728d.pdf.

Reach James D. Wolf Jr. at james.wolf@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5117

Twitter @JamesDWolfJr

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