By Mike Kruzman /

An update on where Padnos Iron and Metal stands and what may be required of them for obtaining an necessary Air Quality Permit was given by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

Padnos is proposing a new metal processing facility that an includes an outdoor shredder at its 645 Lucy Road location in the City of Howell. They and the City are currently in litigation over the Board of Zoning Appeals denial of 3 requested variances.

Still, to perform operations EGLE requires Padnos to have an Air Quality Permit, which they have applied for and is in the draft process. EGLE’s Air Quality Division held on online meeting, Tuesday, to update the progress on the permit and take public comment for consideration. The shredder project has come under heavy protest from neighbors throughout the community. EGLE recognized this at the hearing, but pointed out that this permit doesn’t relate to commonly heard complaints like noise, traffic, and zoning at the site, and comments should be kept appropriate to air quality. No public comment was given at the meeting.

Lead Permit Engineer for the site, Chuku Oje, still provided information on EGLE’s findings and requests from Padnos. Oje said they require a fugitive dust plan to ensure that facilities take steps from spreading dust and what they are expecting from Padnos. This includes frequently appling water to storage piles to prevent fugitive dust and fires. Additionally there are requirements outside the dust plan specific to the shredder. They will have to use water sprays whenever the shredder is operating. This has the effect of trapping the dust and preventing them from being emitted.

Padnos would also need a materials management plan that will require them to remove gasoline, oil and refrigerants before shredding. Due to nearby lakes and wetlands, mercury must also be removed. Oje said in their Air Toxics review, that the impacts from the proposed shredder are below the state’s screening levels. This means if they operate the shredder properly, they will be in compliance. Padnos would also be required to keep daily and annual reports on materials and emissions and would be subject to more frequent inspections early on.

The permit is still in draft form, meaning it can be approved, denied, or approved with changes. The public comment period remains open until November 23rd for air quality-related remarks.