- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

COLFAX, La. (AP) - Colfax Mayor Ossie Clark wants Clean Harbors Colfax to either come up with a safer method of toxic waste or else be shut down completely.

The Town Talk reports (https://townta.lk/1RRwBEZ ) Clark and other Colfax officials are “actively opposing” the company’s proposal to quadruple the amount of open burning of waste at its site 5 miles northwest of the town. Clean Harbors has asked the Department of Environmental Quality for a permit to do so.

“I don’t think tax revenues are worth people’s lives,” the mayor told The Town Talk.

State Rep. Terry Brown, I-Colfax, said the burning could cause health problems within a 40-mile radius of the plant.

Clean Harbors officials disagree with claims that the open burning at the site can cause health issues.

Clark said he’s not looking to hurt the workers’ livelihoods, “but the bottom line comes down to this - when it affects several thousand people, schools within 8 to 10 to 12 miles of this place, I desperately want to say at any given time, yes, we can shut it down because it’s going to cause greater harm to the people who live in this parish and also surrounding parishes.”

Clean Harbors Colfax has asked the state DEQ to allow it to increase the annual amount of net explosive weight that it burns from about 500,000 pounds to more than 2 million pounds.

The DEQ is accepting public comments about the permit request until 4:30 p.m. Feb. 29. The agency will conduct a public hearing at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Grant Parish Civic Center, also known as the Colfax Civic Center.

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Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, https://www.thetowntalk.com

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