WROI News

Cass County citizen's continue their fight against proposed zinc recycling plant

Concerned Cass County citizens continued to voice their opposition to the proposed zinc plant WSP, Monday morning, at the Cass County Government Building in Logansport.

 

Waelz Sustainable Products, better known as WSP,  is a new, state of the art kiln facility set to produce zinc oxide from steel mill byproducts. A joint venture between the Indianapolis- based company Heritage Environmental and the Monterrey, Mexico based company Zin Nacional, it's said to be a pioneer in Waelz Kiln technology. 

 

It's arrival to Cass County was proposed in March, 2020. Despite its promise of bringing between 60 to 90 jobs to the community, many locals are anything but happy and want to put a stop to its current construction west of Logansport. 

 

Citizens argued that the facility, if built, would be one of the top mercury and lead polluters in the US.

 

 

The two extremely toxic chemicals are known to affect the human nervous system, especially in children and could potentially contaminate the air, water and soil. Along with the thousands of 'No WSP' signs in front of homes and businesses throughout Cass County, there have been multiple protests as well. 

 

Two months earlier on April 15, while still obeying social distancing amid lockdown during the pandemic, dozens of vehicles participated in a drive-by protest from their cars.  Protestors circled the Cass County Government Building, honking and holding signs opposing WSP's proposal. 

 

The most recent protest last Saturday in Logansport continued practicing social distancing by remaining six feet apart, with protesters holding signs from the corner of 24th and Market Street to east point Muffler. 

  

This is not the first time WSP has been rejected from a community. The citizen's of Muncie, Indiana and Delaware County stood together to reject the steel-dusting recycling plant, after it was proposed in January 2019. 

 

Their concerns too, were over the health and environmental factors the facility would put out in the area. WSP denied and still continues to deny, any harmful effects the facility would bring to the community. 

 

The Muncie activists won their fight in August of 2019, after the Muncie Redevelopment Commission chose for the city to pull out of the project because of the company not being able to provide scientific factual information that could prove their recycling processes were safe. 

 

Logansport residents hope for the same results for Cass County, vowing to not let up until the commissioners ban WSP from the community. 

 

Cass County Commissioner Ryan Browning's temper flared after he snapped at those standing against WSP during the public comments portion after the commissioners formal meeting.  He ended the comment portion with a comment of his own, stating that he favored tabling action on the proposed zinc reclamation plant until an independent report on the effects Waelz Sustainable Products plant could have for the community.

 

Commissioners did not formalize the action and no votes or actions were taken at the meeting. 

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