Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and his zoning department granted a waiver to allow a Pyrolysis Plant in a CI district to Auston Transfer & Processing, LLC (Auston) at their current location. This location is in a heavily populated area. Clearly, Mr. Glassman exercised poor judgment when allowing this to occur.
I am astounded that no one in the county government, including the Harford County Council (except for Mike Perone who requested this waiver be rescinded), has investigated the possible safety issues involved with a pyrolysis plant. Yes, an evaluation of what to do with the tires that are being stockpiled at this Auston location should be done. But, it cannot be a quick fix.
Allowing a tire pyrolysis plant could appear to be a good decision as Auston and Harford County are running out of options for discarding used tires. However, after researching the company that Auston is teaming with (no proven pyrolysis plants in the U.S.) and the pyrolysis technology (numerous potential dangers) it seems that permitting a pyrolysis plant so close to so many communities is far too dangerous. It’s just too risky.
There is a huge risk of explosions, toxic air, land, and water emissions for the people of Baltimore and Harford Counties, (from White Marsh and Kingsville to Aberdeen and Havre De Grace which would affect approximately 73,000 citizens), if this wavier is not rescinded. There are 16 schools and numerous day care centers within a 6 mile radius of this location. It’s just too risky.
I recommend that Harford County Executive, Barry Glassman, rescind the decision made by his zoning department to grant such a waiver to Auston.
While rescinding this decision will protect our safety, it does not address the health and safety issues of what to do with the tires that are being stored and stockpiled at the Auston facility which is close to Mountain Road just off Route 7.
I further recommend that Mr. Glassman transfer funds from his new budget and task members of his waste management team to determine if there are alternative technologies other than pyrolysis to safely dispose of tires. After this analysis is performed and if pyrolysis is still determined to be the answer, I recommend that this plant be placed in a less densely populated area that would affect the fewest number of citizens.
As part of this budget, I recommend setting aside some money to compensate or lend money to Auston for their effort to-date and to include them in the investigative process since they have been encouraged to move forward with their pyrolysis proposal by Harford County Zoning.
It would be in our best interest to come to an agreement, stop further legal battles and move forward with the investigation of the best approach for all Harford County residents as well as Auston.
Concerned Harford County Resident and Candidate for the President of the Harford County Council
Concerned Harford County Resident and Candidate for the Maryland State Senate District 7