A planned steel-dust recycling facility in Muncie would look similar to this one. (Photo: Waelz Sustainable Products)
A planned steel-dust recycling facility in Muncie would look similar to this one. (Photo: Waelz Sustainable Products)
MUNCIE — You can add the Delaware County Health Department to the list of opponents of a proposed steel dust recycling facility.

"A thriving community will always recognize the health and well-being of its citizens as the foundation of its existence," health department Administrator Jammie Bane told The Star Press in a written statement.

"Both lead and mercury have long established evidence proving their toxicity and threats to both human and environmental health. The emission of these substances, in any quantity, is cause for the Delaware County Health Department to stand alongside the concerned citizens of Delaware County, in opposition of the proposed steel dust recycling facility."

The statement went on, "Further, we would caution the city of Muncie and Indiana Department of Environmental Management to not only scrutinize the facility’s proposed operations, but to also investigate and consider the potential need for expanded regulations to address any and all environmental health hazards they identify that are not covered by current law."

Waelz Sustainable Products, a joint venture between Heritage Environmental Services, Indianapolis, and Zinc Nacional, Monterrey, N.L., Mexico, says it plans to build and operate a state-of-the-art facility that not only meets, but exceeds, regulatory standards protecting human health and the environment.

Opponents of the project, which would recycle trainloads of steel-mill dust, listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a hazardous waste, are raising concerns about air pollution, including lead and mercury emissions.

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