A Town Divided - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

07/25/02

A Town Divided

A foam insulation plant wants to base it's production in Sulphur Springs and that's left a community divided. One group embraces the company, while the other says it's an environmental hazard.

The Johns Manville makes insulation foam with a trade secret requiring a special air blowing unit. Here's the catch, to use it in Sulphur springs, the company needs the blessing of TNRCC with an amendment to the air quality permit.

Tonight it was announced at a public meeting that TNRCC has given preliminary approval.

One woman leading the group called Citizens for a Safe Sulphur Springs isn't happy about that, claiming the plant would admit toxins causing asthma, lung disease, even death.

Others, including the chamber of commerce president say the plant would only bring economic growth to the city. Here's what both sides told us tonight.

Carolyn Bergins who is against the plant told channel seven, "The real problem is their air emissions will have an impact on ourselves and our kids." She is concerned the plant is too close to her ranch and several area schools.

Elise Brewer, who supports the plant and even hopes to work there said this, "It angers me that plant is here to employ 55 people and it is not happening." Elise also says she has researched the plant and it's emission testing records. She claims if you look at the records, the company does not emit and toxic chemicals that would be a danger to her or her family.

TNRCC will make the final decision if the plant comes to Sulphur Springs or not in the coming weeks.

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