Officials address chemical plant concerns

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News 12 at 6:00, February 2, 2008

Augusta, Ga. --- Larry Whitaker lives about a mile from where the new chemical plant would go. He said he was concerned about the ammonium and the health problems it could cause.

"I feel better because I heard the company's side of it and what I heard from them seemed like they got a very good know it's going to be a safe thing," Larry Whitaker said.

"Anytime your dealing with chemicals, you're going to have some concerns, so nothing is completely gone from my mind in terms of concerns," Commissioner Alvin Mason said.

"They were wondering what our plans were for addressing any releases of that. Obviously, we don't plan for any releases, but we are required by law to have a risk management plan in the event of a release," Southern Ionics Vice President of Commercial Development, Randy Weimer said.

After talking with commissioners and Southern Ionics, Whitaker said he feels a lot better about the plant moving in.

"Everything I heard from the company, I'm pretty much in agreement with it," Whitaker said.

The plant is moving a few miles from Perkins Road to Lumpkin Road. Representatives said the plant would serve as both a storage facility and a production site.

"We had some people here that are familiar with the chemical industry and had some very accurate questions about some of the things we do and know a lot about the type of business that were in. And so once we responded to the questions, I feel like they were satisfied," Weimer said.

Commissioners said the four million dollar project will benefit the community with economic development and new jobs.

"I'm pretty much for it. Yeah. Time will tell," Whitaker said.

The final decision will be made by the full Augusta Commission on Tuesday, February 5th.

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