PAYNE CITY -- The City Council decided Wednesday that a proposed biomedical waste treatment plant does not conform to the city’s solid waste handling plan.
Geneva-based MedSafe had planned to put a chlorine-based medical waste treatment plant at 136 Rose Ave. in the hamlet of Payne City. The company proposed to treat certain biomedical waste including syringes, waste from infected animals other than carcasses and body parts, and infected cultures and stocks, according to the company’s operational plan.
After Mayor Grace McCrimmons handed out a statement Wednesday evening to council members setting out why the company’s proposed plant did not conform to the city’s solid waste handling plan, there was very little discussion by council members before the 3-1 vote.
Councilman Phil Martin was the only member to vote in support of the company.
The statement handed out by McCrimmons included several reasons why the company would not be suitable in Payne City:
-- Payne City’s land use is residential and commercial, and the facility would be incompatible with the existing land use.
-- The proposed facility would use unproven technology. The applicant was not able to produce any information about the noise level or odors from the plant or how the waste would be handled before and after treatment.
-- The proposed facility would have placed an undue financial burden on Payne City, especially road damage from tractor-trailers to the plant.
-- The proposed facility would have damaged existing infrastructure in Payne City
-- The plant would have discouraged new small businesses, and some existing business owners had indicated they would move if the facility came to Payne City.
Martin questioned how the city could restrict trucks coming to one business but not to others.
“I counted six or seven tractor-trailers going to restaurants when I was out there for a couple of hours,” Martin said. “Are we going to restrict other trucks, too?”
Allen McKee, who owns MedSafe, and Ken Taylor, who owns the property where the plant would be located, left the meeting as soon as it ended and didn’t make any public comments.
Payne City has held two other public meetings about MedSafe during which several people complained about the plant, mostly about the location.
Since trucks to the plant would have to maneuver around a sharp turn located in Macon’s Freedom Park, Macon City Council passed a resolution during its meeting Tuesday night expressing “concern” about the plant. The Macon City Council suggested it would be better in another location.
Taylor has said eight to 10 trucks a day would come and go from the plant once it was in full operation.
The technology that the plant would use to treat medical waste has been accepted by the state Environmental Protection Division, said Michael Kemp, manager of the EPD’s Industrial Solid Waste Unit under the Solid Waste Management Program.
Kemp is not aware of any company in the United States currently using the medical waste treatment process known as Med WasteTec LFB 12-5. However, the EPD reviewed a report from 2002 on the same process used at a hospital in England.
MedSafe’s permit application by the EPD “is under review,” Kemp said.
“It is referred to as alternate biomedical waste treatment technology, and that technology was accepted as a viable technology,” he said. “The Design and Operation Plan at this point are approvable.”
The EPD was waiting on last week’s public hearing, which must be held at least two weeks before an EPD permit could be issued.
Kemp said in an e-mail earlier in the day Wednesday that he wasn’t sure if the city’s decision would affect the EPD permitting process.
“Once the meeting is complete and any minutes or record (or related correspondence from Payne City) is submitted to EPD, we’ll know more,” Kemp said.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.