New Haven Residents: Will Our "Air Quality" Be Safe?

By John W. Davis

August 23, 2011 Updated Aug 23, 2011 at 10:23 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Will our "air quality" be safe?

That's the question on the minds of dozens of New Haven residents who are concerned about a proposed copper wire plant.

About 60 concerned citizens gathered Tuesday evening at Jefferson Park, which is just east of New Haven city limits.

Community members spent more than 90 minutes discussing and agreeing on unified front to question a proposed Steel Dynamics Incorporated Copper Wire Plant in New Haven.

Plant construction has already begun at the intersection of Dawkins Road and Ryan Road in New Haven.

The plant will recycle copper to make copper wire rods.

However, SDI does not have their final air quality approval from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Permits would allow for a maximum of a little more than 70,000 tons of greenhouse gases.

Community members want assurances that's a safe level.

"The way we're looking at it is okay if that's the case then the best way to make us feel comfortable and for us to know you are complying is to prove it to us," said New Haven Resident Celia Garza.

"By having those (air quality) monitors, collecting data, analyzing it, writing the report, releasing it to the community. We can feel comfortable when we have something to look at," Garza continued.

SDI has previously said the plant will create 35 jobs and will invest nearly $40 million dollars into the new facility.

Republican State Representative Phyllis Pond and Republican Allen County Councilman Kevin Howell attended the community organized meeting.

Both answered several questions.

Howell promised to keep in touch will residents and let them know when the Indiana Department of Environmental Management set a public hearing date.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management will hold public meetings next month.

The dates have not been announced.

Right now, IDEM is reviewing more than 100 complaints.

We're told SDI will be at the IDEM public hearing eager to answer community questions.

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