Asphalt plant a toxic slippery slope

To the Editor,

A few weeks ago the Canaan ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals) lifted the Cease and Desist order on B. Metcalf Asphalt and allowed it to keep manufacturing their Cold Patch Asphalt product in East Canaan.

Why this expanded use of allowing the manufacturing a unique new product on this property was ever allowed — under a pre-existing “non-conforming” use — is a good question. As is the question at the root of the matter does “processing asphalt” mean “manufacturing asphalt.”

But we cannot allow further expansion of any asphalt manufacturing on the 15 Allyndale Road property or the Metcalf property at 235 East Canaan Road where Metcalf is now seeking a court ordered permit (Hearing Date set for May 14) to build a plant to manufacture Warm Mix Asphalt.

We must be thorough and definitive as a community. We need to insist that the North Canaan Zoning Board state that there is a difference between “processing” and “manufacturing” and that allowing “processing” was never meant to allow “manufacturing.”

We need to insist that the letter of December 22, 2012 by the former Zoning Enforcement Officer regarding “processing of asphalt” at 15 Allyndale Road be clarified to state that “...processing of asphalt, brick and concrete intermittently with a portable crusher… and processing equipment to utilize millings.” was not intended and should not now be interpreted in any way to allow the “manufacture of a new and unique asphalt product” as a continuation of a pre-existing “non-conforming” use on either property.

Regarding the Warm Mix Asphalt plant site modification plan submitted by B. Metcalf Paving, Inc. that is in court, we as a community need to be vigilant and actively seek advice and intervention on this matter from the State of Connecticut Attorney General and the DEEP where applicable, regarding water and air quality permitting and the State Statute CT Public Act 98-216 (22A-196) governing the site location of any “batching or continuous mix facility” located within one-third mile of a watercourse and within one-third mile of residential housing.

The time to take action is now.

Bernard Re Jr.,

North Canaan

Connecticut Media Group