Tuesday, April 25, 2000

Medical-waste permit fought

Residents to battle proposal

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — A company that wants to build a medical waste facility in Boone County will go before the county Board of Adjustments on May 10.

        A citizen's group is organizing to oppose a permit for Sanitec of Kentucky, a company that wants to build a facility that would shred, disinfect and reduce the volume of medical waste it treats.

        An earlier hearing was postponed because experts who were to speak on the company's behalf could not attend. The company was also looking for property on which to locate the business that does not fall under the jurisdiction of the board of adjustments.

        “We're exploring other options in case we need to go there,” said Bob Jennings, a spokesman for Sanitec.

        The company wants to build a facility in an area south of Florence on East Frogtown Road that's already zoned Industrial-1.

        Sanitec will go before the Board of Adjustments for a public hear ing on a conditional-use permit.

        The company already has received a permit from Boone County Emergency Management.

        Company officials say plans include importing medical waste — IV bags, needles and soiled clothes — from neighboring states and Lexington, Louisville and Frankfort.

        Officials say Boone County is a good location because it is in a strategic area near major cities.

        Brandon Voelker, an attorney representing some of the opposing residents, said they will be at the meeting. He plans to challenge whether the facility would fit in the area.

        “By Boone County's own ordinance it doesn't fit,” he said.

        Mr. Jennings said he has tried to assure residents that the equipment is safe and that there is no chance of a threat to public health.

        The processing is done by machines, not people — and the containers that transport the material are lockable and sealed.

        “It's still the same state-of-the-art equipment that we've been using all along,” he said.

        Mr. Voelker said he and his clients disagree.

        “I don't care what they say,” Mr. Voelker said. “There's going to be waste falling outside the trucks and outside the plant.”


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