Live Oak — For more on this topic, see the related content on the right.
Local group Save Our Suwannee petitioned the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and was granted more time to study the local impacts the proposed medical waste incinerator company could have on the county, according to Save Our Suwannee spokesperson Annette Long. Save Our Suwannee submitted the request Aug. 2 and has until Aug. 31 to take further action.
Russell Simpson, FDEP northeast district ombudsman, told the Democrat on Monday the deadline for public complaints has expired.
The air permit legal notice found first in the July 19 edition of the Democrat stated individuals wishing to submit complaints had 14 days from the date of the publication to do so. Only information submitted by Save Our Suwannee will be considered at this point.
A Pennsylvania-based medical waste incinerator facility is seeking to locate at the catalyst site in Western Suwannee County and their goal is to begin construction within the next 18 months. Integrated Waste Management Systems Inc., (IWMS) 932 Lark Street, Lehighton, Penn., proposes to construct the facility near the intersection of 175th Road and 50th Street in Suwannee County.
The air permit legal notice found first in the July 19 edition of the Democrat stated individuals wishing to submit complaints had 14 days to do so. By Aug. 2, Long realized they needed more time to study the proposed facility in depth and submitted a request to FDEP for more time.
In anticipation their request would be granted, Long said their organization hired several experts to study four aspects of the company. The areas of study include determining what substances will be released into the air (emissions); the levels of mercury (found in the smoke created by the incinerators); dioxins (formed from burning plastic); and storage of the waste products.
According to the company’s air permit application, the proposed IWMS Suwannee facility will 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.”
Save Our Suwannee has three options. They can choose to take no action and the company will continue as planned getting their permits approved, and seek to purchase land from the county. They can submit comments/suggestions regarding the proposed company’s air permit. The organization can also file for a hearing.