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December 27, 2013

A look back at what made the headlines in Suwannee County in 2013

As we welcome in 2014 we say goodbye to 2013 with a look back at some of the top stories that shaped our county.

Live Oak —

Aug. 2, various editions thereafter

Medical waste facility seeks to locate here

A Pennsylvania-based medical waste incinerator facility sought to locate at the catalyst site in Western Suwannee County. Integrated Waste Management Systems Inc., 932 Lark Street, Lehighton, Penn., proposed to construct a new medical waste incinerator facility near the intersection of 175th Road and 50th Street in Suwannee County, on the catalyst site.

The company was seeking 25 acres at 175th Road and 50th Street that IWMS would purchase.

According to the company’s air permit application, the proposed IWMS Suwannee facility would consist of four hospital, medical, infectious waste incinerator (HMIWI) units manufactured by Pennram, or similar units. Each unit will burn 2,500 pounds per hour, a maximum of 30-tons per day of hospital, medical and infectious waste and will meet the regulatory definition of “Continuous HMIWI.”

The company met opposition from the onset. A local group formed - No Bio in Suwannee County - with help from Baker County residents. IWMS tried to set up shop there before public opposition told them no. No Bio in Suwannee County rallied support to oppose the company, citing health concerns from the emissions and possible pollution of our waters.

The group was successful in mobilizing.

IWMS withdrew their environmental resource permit application from the Suwannee River Water Management District in October.

Dec. 4 edition 

PotashCorp White Springs announces layoffs

Approx. 250 lost jobs immediately, more will come later

Suwannee River chemical plant to close, leaving one 

White Springs Agricultural Chemicals, Inc (PotashCorp White Springs) announced Tuesday, Dec. 3, that it will permanently close the Suwannee River chemical plant – one of two plants at the White Springs facility – during the second half of 2014. Initial closure activities resulted in an immediate reduction of about 250 people. Final closure in 2014 will result in an additional reduction of approximately 100 people; a cumulative reduction of approximately 50 percent from current levels. 

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