Recommendations Presented to East Grand Forks Council Members on Asphalt Plant Project – Grand Forks Herald

EAST GRAND FORKS — Recommendations from a subcommittee reviewing recent findings by a state agency that a local business exceeded air emissions limits were presented to members of the East Grand Forks City Council on Tuesday, September 13.

The subcommittee reviewed the findings of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s law enforcement investigation into RJ Zavoral & Sons, which was released in July.

MPCA found that RJ Zavoral & Sons exceeded air pollutant emissions, failed equipment performance testing for up to four years, and failed to keep various equipment inspection records required. The violations are associated with two of the company’s portable hot-mix asphalt plants and two portable rock crushing plants.

The subcommittee, which is made up of City Administrator David Murphy, City Attorney Ron Galstad and City Council members Tim Riopelle, Brian Larson and Mark Olstad, was struck to determine what recommendations should be made. because RJ Zavoral & Sons has been approved for special use. permission in May to build and operate an asphalt plant on the eastern outskirts of the city.

After review, the sub-committee made three recommendations to the board in addition to the nine special use permit requirements. Recommendations include:

  • A five-year trial period
  • Monthly inspection reports provided to the city that are required by the MPCA shall include, but not be limited to, ductwork; housing fittings and leaks; and fiber filter devices for interior cleaning system requirements
  • Annual emissions/stack tests for the asphalt plant related to the trial period

The five-year probationary period will help the city ensure everything remains compliant with the MPCA and Special Use Permit. Galstad said if the broadcasts are breached at any time during the five years, the board members will then determine whether the special use license should be revoked after that period. The five-year probationary period will begin when the plant is operational.

Larson said the committee wanted to instill public confidence in the planned asphalt plant and made recommendations based on that goal.

“As we went through this process, I can only speak for myself now, we wanted to find a way to instill confidence in our audience that this plant will always operate in an environmentally friendly way,” Larson said. “One of the ways we thought we could do that was to make sure the extra air quality testing was instilled, especially in the early years here as this plant was being established. If we show that there is an excellent record of environmental compliance going beyond expectations, we believe we will regain that public trust.

Many residents have expressed concerns about the proposed plant with some of the main concerns relating to potential health risks, environmental effects, traffic impacts and quality of life issues that the plant may cause.

Joseph Zavoral, treasurer and estimating manager for RJ Zavoral & Sons, said the stack test recommendation creates challenges for the company because to properly perform the test, the plant must be operating at maximum capacity. , which would not be the case. case for the East Grand Forks plant.

“You’re looking at a full day of operation at maximum capacity,” Zavoral said. “Depending on the size of the plant, it could be a 2,500 to 3,000 tonne day, which the projects here are not big enough to handle that much output.

Olstad said more discussion was needed within the subcommittee and with RJ Zavoral & Sons on what recommendations would work for the company.

In other news Tuesday, council members:

Received an update on the 2023 federal funding project, including whether board members would like to assess 20-30% of the total project cost to owners. Projects include Fifth Avenue Northeast from 20th Street Northeast to 15th Street Northeast, Fifth Avenue Northeast from Highway 2 to 10th Street Northeast, and DeMers Avenue from the Highway 2 to Fourth Street Northwest.

Review of hiring incentives for the East Grand Forks Police Department, which has two vacancies. Murphy said the steady decline in candidates for police positions is a statewide problem. Some hiring incentives presented to board members for consideration are hiring bonuses of $5,000, relocation bonuses of $2,500, and retention bonuses of $5,000. The impact of these incentives on the city budget, based on average new hires and assuming a full internship, is estimated at $115,000. This amount is included in the 2023 budget.