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Walan meets with residents about slag griding facility

Courtesy of Walan Speciality Construction Products
The type of grinding operation Walan officials say would be at the proposed facility near the Port of Wilmington

Residents of Southbridge will press for more answers about a proposed slag grinding facility at a community meeting Saturday.

Walan Specialty Construction Products hopes to build a facility near the Port of Wilmington that would grind steel slag into a powder for use as a cement additive.

Community leaders in Southbridge have voiced opposition since the spring, citing fears about the facility’s impact on health and quality of life.

“We heard, it’s not just you, it’s what we’re dealing with in this area and then your operation on top of that,” said Walan Vice President Lisa Dharwadkar.

The proposed facility is expected to emit particulate matter, various sulfur and nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds.

Rick Beringer of Duffield Assoc. is Walan’s environmental consultant. He says local air quality— with the plant’s projected emissions added in— still meets National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

He adds dispersion modelling shows cumulative emissions would peak closer to the plant than the nearest residences.


“The modelling we did should be very conservative,” he said.

Beringer’s modelling used data from a DNREC monitoring station on MLK Blvd. in Wilmington. But monitoringin Eden Park Gardens, a neighborhood closer to the proposed Walan plant, has revealed higher peak dust levels there.

Walan representatives have travelled from western Pennsylvania to attend the meeting Saturday.

The public comment period on the plant’s construction permit was recently extended through Dec. 31.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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