NOISY NEIGHBORS: Southfork Residents At Odds With USA Metal
Posted: March 18, 2012 at 5:29 a.m.
USA Metal workers processing a Chevrolet Suburban early in the morning of Jan. 4 told a state investigator they failed to find a propane tank in the car before putting it through the shredder.
Below are complaints from Lowell residents since July to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality regarding the USA Metal Recycling site near the Southfork neighborhood. None of the complaints resulted in violations or fines, although the department forwarded the Jan. 4 complaint to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for investigation.
July 11: Smoke and odor
Oct. 19: Odor, dust, black smoke, explosions
Nov. 2: Odor, noise, explosions and smoke; chemicals leaking into the ground water
Jan. 4: Explosion and odors
Jan. 13: Six explosions since Dec. 21, and the smell of burning rubber
Jan. 24: White-like dust coming from metal shredder
Feb. 9: Explosion with fallout
Feb. 13: Concerns about air quality and a burning smell
Feb. 22: Black smoke and odor
Source: Arkansas Department Of Environmental Quality
Below are the report and recommendations from the Community-USA Metal Committee to the Planning Commission:
Explosions are still a concern. The committee advises the city to continue to investigate and to follow code enforcement procedures when explosions or loud bangs occur.
Actions are being taken by USA Metal Recycling to decrease noise.
The company continues to work to satisfy complaints and has purchased a decibel meter in an effort to address noise complaints.
The company is beginning installation of a zero-bleed system that will potentially decrease or eliminate airborne debris from the metal shredder.
Source: City Of Lowell
Correspondence, Full Complaint Reports
Visit nwaonline.com/usametal to see correspondence between the Lowell Planning Commission and Tom Smith and a timeline of complaints with links to full reports.
AT A GLANCE
A committee of four Southfork residents, four Lowell planning commissioners and four USA Metal Recycling representatives has been set up to resolve the dispute between the neighborhood and company. The Community-USA Metal Committee is set to present its findings to the planning commission April 19.
Source: Staff Report
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