Tire-recycling plant permit goes through DEQ evaluation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 2, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; After last week&8217;s special public hearing to gather initial reaction, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will next put the permit application of the prospective rubber plant to a technical evaluation.

And while no one from the public spoke out against the tire-recycling company Louisiana Elastomer&8217;s plans to build a facility on D.A. Biglane Road, the period for comment will remain open throughout the DEQ&8217;s technical evaluation.

A transcript from the hearing will be available on the department&8217;s Web site, www.deq.louisiana.gov, within a week to 10 days, Public Participation Group Supervisor Soumaya Ghosn said.

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&8220;Their DEQ. application has been administratively completed, now the technical study begins,&8221; she said.

Along with the transcript, LAEL&8217;s complete application is available on the Web site and at Vidalia City Hall, Ghosn said.

The DEQ&8217;s Robert Nissen, who oversaw the administrative approval of the application, said how long it takes for the technical study will be determined by the quality of the information provided.

&8220;We&8217;ll do a review to make sure it meets standards,&8221; he said.

If there are problems, Nissen said the agency would go back to the company to help clear them up before passing final judgment.

If approved, Nissen said the process would move up to the secretary of the department for final approval.

Only after final approval will any kind of official announcement be made, city officials said.

LAEL plans to take old tires, separate the components and recycle the rubber for resale.

The plant is expected to bring at least 75 jobs within three years and close to 120 when it reaches full capacity.