Hearing on proposed Lancaster County plant to be held in York County

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Dec 12, 2012 4:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A scheduled hearing Thursday on the environmental impact of a proposed soybean processing facility in the midstate is being held outside the community where it's planned to be built.

The plant is slated to be constructed in Conoy Township, Lancaster County, but the state Department of Environmental Protection says the hearing will be held in Hellam Township, York County.

DEP spokeswoman Lisa Kasianowitz says of the 36 comments the department has received so far, 25 of them have come from York County, which is separated from Conoy by the Susquehanna River.

She says the agency will weigh all the comments equally, no matter where they come from.

"In case someone cannot attend, or a group cannot attend, they can still send in a written comment to the department by December 17," Kasianowitz explains. "They have to make sure to send it either to our air quality program or our storage tanks."

Kasianowitz says air permits cover emissions from both the grain elevator and soybean oil processor -- while the tank permit deals with storage of a flammable chemical called hexane.

She says it will likely be several months before DEP regulators are ready to make a decision on the project.

Some community members have expressed concerns about air pollution and the possibility of explosions at the plant.

The 6 p.m. hearing will be at the Hellam Fire Company Hall at 163 E. Market St. in Hellam, York County.

Published in Lancaster, News, York

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