Monday, June 05, 2023

DEQ mails letters on car-wrecking yard

by Alan Lewis Gerstenecker
| September 25, 2012 11:42 AM

The Department of Environmental Quality’s preparation of an Environmental Assessment for a proposed vehicle-wrecking facility adjacent to J. Neils Park has at least one neighbor feeling as if the project is very close to being approved.

In a letter from the agency to Stephen and Patricia Dalby, of 58 Edgewater Drive, the DEQ informs the Dalbys and other neighbors of the proposed action and to determine whether it may have significant effect on the human environment. The letter, from Carda Taylor of the Motor Vehicle Recycling and Disposal Program, is dated Aug. 27 and states the Environmental Assessment “will be circulated for a period of 30 days at which time a decision will be made as to our future action.”

At issue is a request by Robert Payne, doing business as Payne Logging Co., to open a motor-vehicle wrecking facility on his property at 99 My Road, adjacent to J. Neils Park.

At a public hearing on Jan. 18 during a Lincoln County Commissioners meeting, Payne informed the board of his intentions on the 12.7-acre site.

The hearing was well-attended by neighbors in opposition to the proposal, among them the Dalbys, Patricia and Stephen.

“Personally, I feel like why do this in a residential area,” Stephen Dalby said Wednesday at his home. “Yes, I do feel like if they’re at this point in the process, it’ll happen.”

Dalby, who is an attorney, said the decision should never have gotten to the DEQ.

“The Commissioners just ignored it,” Dalby said. “By not making a decision, I guess they think it was a way of compromising. All they had to do was disapprove this,” said Dalby, who also own a home on Manor Drive, which is closer to the proposed site than their home on Edgewater.

Payne, reached also reached Wednesday, said he is moving forward as if the proposal was pending.

“We’re hopeful,” Payne said. “But is this really a story?”

According to the original proposal, which included Payne’s 12.7-acre parcel, the actual wrecking yard, as described in the latest nine-page letter received by the Dalbys and neighbors, states the site will be 3.15 acres, or about a fourth of the original proposal.

The criteria for an auto-wrecking facility requires junked cars be obscured from view, requiring views be obstructed up to six-feet high. On the Payne site, the DEQ states vegetation and planned cargo containers will meet view-obstruction criteria.

If approved, Payne will be allowed to 1.) buy, sell or deal in four or more vehicles per year of a type required to be licensed, for the purpose of wrecking, dismantling, disassembling or substantially altering the form of vehicles; 2.) buy or sell component parts in whole or in part, and deal in second-hand junk vehicles; 3.) purchase wrecked vehicles from insurance companies; 4.) recycle all the ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals that were not sold to the general public.

If approved, Payne 1.) will purchase junk vehicles from the general public, which the DEQ states will improve the asthetics of the community; 2.) will be required to shield the facility from the public, and 3.) will be required to handle all the automotive waste in an environmentally safe manner, including all fuels, oils, lubricants, CFCs and other liquid materials. 

In a preliminary assessment included in the nine-page package sent to neighbors, the potential impact to the physical environment — a listing of nine criteria — states there will be minimal to no impact by granting the proposal. Assessing the potential impact on humans — taking 11 factors into consideration — the review states only minimal impact.