Aggregate Upgate


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Aggregate Upgate

  2. 2. Below is an article from the August 7th BOSTON GLOBE and some of the emails it generated around town: Asphalt plan stirs concern Firm seeks to add storage capacity By Brenda J. Buote Globe Correspondent / August 7, 2008 A construction materials supplier recently fined for Clean Air Act violations is seeking permission to upgrade its Chelmsford plant, a proposal that wor- ries some neighbors of the Oak Street facility who fear the changes could pose an environmental hazard. Saugus-based Aggregate Industries Northeast Region, which has 28 production facilities in Mas- sachusetts, wants a license to increase its above- ground storage capacity in Chelmsford by replacing six old tanks with seven new ones. Some of the tanks hold liquid asphalt, while others are used to store emulsion, heating oil, or refined specification oil, a product derived from waste oil. The new tanks would more than double the ca- pacity of the company's 20-year-old tank farm, from 70,000 gallons to 170,000 gallons.
  3. 3. At public hearing sessions in June, neighbors who live near the plant said they fear the increased storage capacity could translate into a big boost in production. Such a change, residents said, would increase truck traffic in the area and add to the smell of sulfur in the air. Several residents said they are concerned about the impact of the plant's emissions on public health - noting that Byam Ele- mentary School is less than a mile from the plant - and called for an independent health study and periodic testing of the air, ground water, and sur- rounding wetlands. quot;I live within 2 miles of the plant, and every time I go out, I see trucks coming in, getting filled, and going out,quot; said Christine McNamara, a High Street resident. quot;They have to go through residen- tial areas to get to and from the highway. It's a lot of dirty, noisy traffic. . . . My concern is that the in- crease in storage would lead to an increase in production, something the company could do with- out getting an increase in the production limits on its permit.quot;
  4. 4. But company officials contend the changes they are seeking are to upgrade the plant, not expand its production capacity. If its application is ap- proved by the Board of Selectmen, the company still has to seek permits from the state fire mar- shal's office to replace its outdated horizontal tanks. Aggregate Industries officials said the new vertical storage tanks would require less energy and would be better insulated, changes that would translate into a cleaner and more efficient opera- tion. As proof of their intent, they said, the com- pany has vowed not to seek an increase in the plant's gross production limits. The public hearing on the proposal is scheduled to resume at the selectmen's next meeting, on Monday. The Chelmsford plant has been a fixture on the local landscape for more than 20 years. The facil- ity is allowed to produce up to 900,000 tons of hot mix, the asphalt product used to pave roads, in a rolling 12-month period. In 2007, the plant pro-
  5. 5. duced 472,000 tons of hot mix, said Tim Jones, a senior permitting specialist with the company. quot;What we are seeking is an upgrade, not an ex- pansion in any way, shape, or form,quot; said Scott Colby, environmental and estates manager for Ag- gregate Industries. quot;We have agreed, in writing, to limit our future expansion to what we are currently permitted to produce.quot; Colby said that increasing the storage capacity of the tank farm would help the company to quot;get to a point where deliveries are more predictable.quot; In addition to the changes proposed for the tank farm, the company also wants to add two 200-ton silos for storage of hot mix, a move that Colby said would help quot;address back-ups that occur early in the morning,quot; when trucks come in to take delivery of the asphalt. The company currently has five silos. The plant's neighbors, though, say they worry, pointing to the fact that the state Department of Environmental Protection fined the manufacturer for exceeding the safety limits on emissions in
  6. 6. 2005. In April, Aggregate Industries agreed to pay as much as $587,000 in civil penalties and promised to improve compliance with environmental laws to settle Clean Air Act violations alleged at 10 of its facilities in the state, including two in this area: the Chelmsford plant and another in Littleton. Alleged violations at the Chelmsford site included burning waste oil with more sulfur than the appli- cable air-pollution control permit allows. If Aggre- gate Industries complies with the terms of the settlement, which includes the reduction of sulfur in the refined specification oil it burns, the penalty will be reduced by $75,000. Company officials have said they agreed to the settlement to avoid costly litigation and say they have a strong environmental compliance program in place. In recent months, Colby said, the com- pany has made substantive changes, replacing the management team and coming into compli- ance with a strict international standard of envi- ronmental management systems designed to
  7. 7. reduce the impact of the company's operations on the environment. The company hopes to proceed with the upgrades in December, when the plant closes for the winter season, and have the new tanks and silos in- stalled by March 2009, Colby said. The project is expected to cost $1.5 million. Chelmsford Fire Chief Jack Parow in June told se- lectmen he supports the proposed upgrades, saying he believed they would make the facility safer. The Monday meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in conference room 204 at the town office building, 50 Billerica Road. Brenda J. Buote can be reached at bbuote@com- © Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.
  8. 8. Begin forwarded message: From: Tom Christiano <> Date: August 8, 2008 7:23:21 AM EDT To: Roy Earley <>, (and others) Subject: Re: BOSTON GLOBE : Asphalt plan stirs concern Thanks Roy. Did you notice this part? “The Chelmsford plant has been a fixture on the local landscape for more than 20 years. The facility is allowed to produce up to 900,000 tons of hot mix, the asphalt product used to pave roads, in a rolling 12-month period. In 2007, the plant produced 472,000 tons of hot mix, said Tim Jones, a senior permitting specialist with the company. quot;What we are seeking is an upgrade, not an expansion in any way, shape, or form,quot; said Scott Colby, environmental and estates man - ager for Aggregate Industries. quot;We have agreed, in writing, to limit our future expansion to what we are currently permitted to pro - duce.quot; Therefore, they will probably start producing 900,000 tons, instead of 472,000 tons if these new tanks, etc. are approved. CHRISTIANO PRODUCTIONS: POLITICALLY INCORRECT: Tues & Weds 8:30 PM; Thurs 7:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM REEL TALK: Thursdays 8:00 PM and Saturdays 8:30 PM SPOTLIGHT ON CHELMSFORD: Various Times Chelmsford Cable TV Channel 8 _______________________________________________
  9. 9. Begin forwarded message: From: Roy Earley <> Date: August 8, 2008 7:41:01 AM EDT To: Tom Christiano <> Subject: Re: Aggregate -BOSTON GLOBE ARTICLE Thanks TOM, Which leads me back to my original question??? From: Roy Earley [] Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:44 AM To: Tom Christiano (and others) Subject: Re: Aggregate - A call to arms Question to those who have been paying attention? Can anyone remember what the current production ceiling limit is that is legally allowed by the State on Aggregate's current produc - tion permit? Aggregate has stated that they have not even come close to their permit limits yet. The BOS stated if they approve the larger holding tanks that Aggre - gate can not increase production above their current limit on their State permit. Point being that right now lets say for argument sake that Aggre - gate is at 75 % production capability. And say that once the new larger tanks go in, they would have the ability to increase production up to 100% So technically I would think that if they are granted the larger stor - age tanks for chemicals and fuel, Aggregate could increase their production on site by 25% and still be with in their allowable limits under the State permit and still meet the BOS stipulation of not going over the limits set by the State.
  10. 10. So I would think that there will indeed be a increase in production from what we are seeing now once the new tanks are in place next spring. Which will legally be with in what they are currently permitted by the State but greater than what we are currently seeing at the site now. Anyone care to set me straight if I'm going down the wrong info path on this one? Thanks Roy Earley Chelmsford Street TM REP Precinct 6 ------------------------------------------------- Begin forwarded message: From: John Wojcik Date: August 8, 2008 8:02:47 PM EDT To: Tom Christiano (and others) Subject: Elected officials please reply to BOSTON GLOBE ARTICLE Tom, How can we get this issue brought to light on public TV? Is it too late? Each and every resident of Chelmsford needs to be aware of this request for Aggregate to increase production. Yes!, this is what new larger capacity tanks will allow, increased production. If they can upgrade to new equipment which allows a legal increase in pro- duction up to their alloted permit limit of 900,000 tons, they will certainly do so. They will certainly do so at our expense by causing added polution, added traffic, added safety issues, added noise issues. Every resident of this town needs to be made aware of the traffic issues which will come with doubling production.
  11. 11. Our elected town officials will show that they have very little regard for the safety of the residents of this town if they think that allowing these tanks to increase will not have any ill affect on us. If this goes forward and they are allowed to increase tank sizes and not be limited to produce 472,000 tons per year, this town will be forever damned and we will have nobody to blame but the people we elected to sit on these boards. The magic number for allowable output needs to be set at the current ob- tainable output and that is number is 472,000 tons. I ask the all the boards to answer this question: Why can't you allow tanks to be upgraded and only allow Aggregate to pro- duce 472,000 tons per year? Here is what you do: Have Aggregate agreee to have their permit changed to 472,000 tons per year from 900,000 tons. If they agree to these terms, allow them to change out the exising tanks. If they do not agreee, have them continue to do business as usual. If there is a safety issue with what they currently have, Aggregate is obli- gated to make repairs. ( not upgrades ) The Town of Chelmsford needs to make a tough decision with something we will be forced to live with for generations to come. The decision of larger storage tanks sends the message that this town wel- comes more unwanted traffic, more poluted air and water, and more health risks for our future generations that will call Chelmsford their home. See everyone Monday evening. John Wojcik
  12. 12. --------------- Begin forwarded message: From: Tom Christiano <> Date: August 9, 2008 11:53:44 AM EDT To: John Wojcik (and others) Subject: Re: Elected officials please reply to BOSTON GLOBE ARTICLE Reply-To: I agree with your suggestions John. A limit, in writing, of 472,000 tons per year seems fair and reasonable. However, even if they agree to that limit, I would recommend that they limit the replacement tank sizes to the sizes that they have now. That would increase the safety of the tanks, while also limiting the amount that they can produce. I would also negotiate an agreement, in writing, that (1) they always pur- chase the smell control substance, and (2) they reduce the pollution coming out of their plant to an absolute minimum. They need to be better neigh- bors than they have been in the past....reducing the smell and pollution would be a good start in that direction. As for getting more TV coverage of this issue, let's see if it's decided at Monday night's BOS meeting. If not, you can be sure that we'll be dis- cussing it many times on my show. I hope to hear you speak at the BOS meeting Monday night. Thanks, Tom CHRISTIANO PRODUCTIONS: POLITICALLY INCORRECT: Tues & Weds 8:30 PM; Thurs 7:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM REEL TALK: Thursdays 8:00 PM and Saturdays 8:30 PM SPOTLIGHT ON CHELMSFORD: Various Times Chelmsford Cable TV Channel 8
  13. 13. Begin forwarded message: From: Jim Pinder Date: August 9, 2008 2:06:44 PM EDT To: Tom Christiano <> (and others) Subject: Re: Elected officials please reply to BOSTON GLOBE ARTICLE According to the towns Attorney., the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen (BOS) is the towns premier board, with the most clout, and we the town citizens need to let them know that we want them to be very proactive! It is very dangerous for us to bank on any board other than the BOS. I also think we need to prioritize the other important items that we would like the BOS to focus on. I know Chairman Philip Eliopoulos has been working very hard on this, and has visited with state officials numerous times, and the BOS has had meetings and conversations that most of us don't even know about. I am sure they are already putting together their own short list of priorities. Here are a few items that I would like them to consider as a resident who lives .7 miles from Aggregate's smoke stacks: 1) a limit, in writing, of 472,000 tons per year of asphalt production (down from 900k) 2) permit the plant to upgrade the existing infrastructure with new tanks of the exact same capacity, no expansion at all. 3) limit all fuel burned at this plant to Natural Gas, which is the cleanest of all fuels 4) Install air quality monitoring equipment complete with audible alarms when a violation is taking place so people have the option of leaving the scene of the danger. Regarding the burning of natural gas, the argument that the town has for this move is that Aggregate has proven itself untrustworthy to be burning dirty and dangerous fuels such as Waste Oil, or #2 Fuel oil within our boarders. Their violations underscore their inability to handle and consume
  14. 14. these fuels. The existing tanks should be used by Aggregate when natural gas is unavailable (should be fairly minimal). As I said earlier, our BOS needs to be very proactive, this will make Aggregate feel the heat, and it is a just reaction to the danger thay have created for us in recent years. BOS, I would urge you not to fear a lawsuit from Aggregate, you will be protecting your town from a proven violator of the Clean Air Act!!! We need a big showing at the next BOS meeting on August 11th, bring your neighbors! Jim Pinder ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- S m o k e s t a ck showdown By Rita Savard, 08/10/2008 CHELMSFORD -- Rachel Harvey holds the list. Seven names written in pencil on a pocket-sized piece of paper. quot;All dead,quot; Harvey said. quot;And most of them lived on my street.quot;
  15. 15. The number of cancer deaths at the Chelmsford Mobile Home Park has residents organizing against their neighbor, asphalt manufacturer Aggregate Industries, Inc., which they allege is responsible for causing the illnesses through a mix of deadly chemicals burning up from its smoke stack. Nearly two dozen residents, calling themselves Chelmsford Advocates for a Safe Environment (CASE), have qualified for free legal representation through the Boston-based nonprofit agency Alternatives for Community and Environment. Representatives for Aggregate say the allegations are com- pletely false, and that there is no evidence to back up those claims. quot;There is no smoke,quot; said Jeff Ciampa, a production manager at Aggregate. quot;The visible laminations from the stack are steam. It's all water vapor. If there are any changes in the color to the plume, it's from ambient light and shadows.quot; Further, town officials say there is no evidence of a raised level of cancer in the area.
  16. 16. Tomorrow night, CASE plans to deliver its message to select- men at a public hearing at Town Offices. Town officials will decide whether to grant Aggregate a license to increase its above-ground storage capacity from five tanks to seven. Instead, CASE wants Aggregate moved to a new location, zoned for industry and away from their homes. quot;Too many have died,quot; Harvey said. quot;We can't continue to live like this.quot; Selectmen Chairman Philip Eliopoulos said town officials have met twice with the state Department of Environmental Protec- tion to gather the history of Aggregate and the company's fines, and to talk to air-quality experts. Eliopoulos said Chelmsford's cancer statistics do not show a higher rate of cancer cases around the park, compared to the rest of the town. CASE is demanding an air-quality test. Harvey points to the pillar standing fewer than 1,000 feet from her doorstep.She photographs smoke funneling up and out, like a tornado in the early morning sky.
  17. 17. quot;Some days the air smells so bad, you can't go outside,quot; Harvey said. Running his fingers through a fine black powder covering his porch, Dan McLean, of Morocco Avenue, said he believes the layer of grime comes from the burning smoke stack. quot;It feels like I'm always outside, scrubbing things down with Dawn and bleach,quot; McLean said. Denise Sorese, of Mobile Avenue, runs a finger down her vinyl siding. She holds up a blackened fingertip. quot;If this is covering our houses, our cars, can you imagine what is going into our lungs?quot; Sorese asks. Ciampa said statements about the black soot are inconsistent with the plant's operations, and something he's never heard before now. quot;I've made a conscious effort to drive through the trailer park and I've not seen any evidence of those allegations whatso- ever,quot; Ciampa said. Company officials say they're seeking to upgrade storage tanks to improve the plant's production, not increase it. The DEP fined Aggregate Industries $587,000 in April for Clean Air Act violations at 10 of Aggregate's 28 production fa- cilities, including Chelmsford. Alleged violations at the Chelmsford site included burning waste oil with more sulfur than the applicable air-pollution
  18. 18. control permit allows. If Aggregate complies with the terms of the settlement, which includes the reduction of sulfur in the oil it burns, the penalty will be reduced by $75,000. Increasing the number of storage tanks in Chelmsford will result in a cleaner and more-efficient operation, Ciampa said. quot;What we're trying to do is make it a more viable operation, with green production initiatives,quot; Ciampa said. quot;Many of the projects we have laid out will create less emissions, not more.quot; But CASE worries that if Aggregate increases its storage ca- pacity, it will eventually amp up its production too. quot;I question it very much,quot; said Jean Rowe, whose husband Brian Rowe died of pancreatic cancer in March 2006. Rowe, who recently survived a battle with breast cancer, said her next-door neighbor also died from pancreatic cancer. quot;We were healthy when we moved here eight years ago,quot; Rowe said. quot;The air always stinks something fierce. It makes you wonder, what exactly is it that we're breathing?quot; Sorese said a company like Aggregate should be relocated to an industrial area. Aggregate fits the definition of an industrial company in town bylaws. But it sits in a commercial/residen- tial area, because the site has existed as a paving company before the area was rezoned. quot;If that was a new proposal, zoning would not permit it,quot; Chelmsford Planning Director Evan Belansky said.
  19. 19. Aggregate's representatives stressed they are doing every- thing in their power to be good neighbors. The company is using a state-of-the-art bag house, a device that acts like a vacuum to remove 99.9 percent of harmful particulate matter from reaching the outside air. Besides vowing not to increase productivity, Aggregate has also offered to put a masking agent in its product to prevent the sulfur smell. quot;I don't think the Japanese would have cared if the Napalm smelled good,quot; Sorese said. In January, Aggregate will have to report to DEP documenting changes in its operations in the past 12 months. For now, it's too early to tell where Aggregate stands on compliance with the state's requirements, DEP spokesman Ed Coletta said. Selectmen will convene at 7 tomorrow night, at Town Offices, 50 Billerica Road. ***************
  20. 20. Note: RICHARD DAY from the CHELMSFORD BOARD OF HEALTH is supposed to be addressing the Selectmen and the town about the Aggregate situation at the BOS meeting Monday night. CHELMSFORD BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING AGENDA August 11, 2008 Town Offices 50 Billerica Rd. 7:00 p.m. Call to Order Public Service Announcements ƒ Firefighters Local 1839 Toll Booth Drive Tab 1 Open Session Scheduled Business 7:30 p.m. SteveWilliams –Nashua Commuter Rail Update Tab 2 7:45 p.m. Jim Pearson –Public Hearing, Pole Petition - Burning Tree Lane Tab 3 7:50 p.m. Jessie’s Place –Common Victualer License Tab 4 7:55 p.m. Carvel / Cinnabon –Change of Ownership Tab 5 8:00 p.m. Aggregate Industries –Continua - tion of Public Hearing, AboveGround Storage License Tab 6