Guest Column: Beautiful Cass County

Last Updated on April 29, 2020 by Mercedes Brugh

WSP’s application for their Secondary Metal Production Facility is lacking. Just three examples:

Coal—WSP would burn approximately 160,000 tons per year. For perspective, LMU’s generating plant burned 79,941 tons in 2015. WSP’s application completely omits the mercury that would be liberated by burning coal.

Dust–The application says WSP’s emissions will be just under the “permitted” limit. This is a guess. They offer no data from Zinc Nacional’s plants in Turkey, Mexico, S. Korea, or Alabama. Also, this brand-new facility would not use “best available technology” for air pollution. “Best” is Electrostatic Precipitators, but Cass County would get baghouse filters with the cheaper, less effective filters made of Nomax or polyester. There is no preventative maintenance plan and no redundant system for filter failures. Small particulate matter, PM 2.5, will be the largest category of pollution from this plant. It is the most harmful size of dust because it gets all the way down into the lungs. Think about what this would mean for someone fighting COVID-19.

Lead— WSP’s application says that they plan to process approximately 320,000 tons of Electric Arc Furnace dust (EAF) per year. Their application also states that 1% of EAF is lead. That’s about 3,200 tons of lead per year, and yet they say that they won’t emit more than ½ ton of lead per year. The remaining approximately 319,999.5 tons are unaccounted for. Filters on the kiln are supposed to capture lead, and yet when the filters need replaced, the old filters are thrown into the kiln. Think about that.

WSP salesmen undoubtedly told our county officials that WSP had a wonderful plan, something that would benefit our beautiful county. Now that we can finally study WSP’s real plan for Cass County, we see how it would forever change our home for the worse. We hope that elected representatives will take a second look at WSP’s Secondary Metal Production Facility.

Mercedes Brugh
Cass County