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Rapid City residents concerned about asphalt plant

Posted March 18

— Pennington County residents have expressed concern over a proposed land rezoning that may result in an asphalt hot mix plant.

Residents attended a public comment session Monday saying the asphalt plant's activities might affect the area's air quality, property valuation and noise level. The plant is proposed for a 69.5-acre lot just west of the Dakota Fields Soccer Complex, the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/2nO0z0l) reported.

The commission voted to deny the rezoning, but the item will be discussed at a March 21 meeting.

Commission member Mark DiSanto said the plant could impact people competing at the soccer complex because it would blow emissions through the facility.

"I can understand these people's concern with the soccer fields," DiSanto said. "The other concern there is that these kids are breathing ... heavily the whole time you're playing soccer, so these citizens are concerned with the toxins."

Tom Lien, who owns Western Construction Inc. that would build the plant, said masking agents like pine and cherry oil can be mixed with the asphalt to control the odor that residents are concerned about.

"I don't believe that there's toxins that are in this," Lien said of the emissions. "I think that if there were it would be addressed by the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)."

Commission members also expressed hesitation about the increased usage of the neighboring rural, two-lane roads that would result from the plant.

After the proposal rejection, Lien said all he could do now was "wait and see."

"This is the process, and we respect it," he said.

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