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Councilmen to meet with reps of concrete companies in Indian Land

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By Jenny Hartley

A County Council committee charged with finding a solution to the noise at concrete plants in an Indian Land business park will meet with concrete company officials next week.

For more than a year, residents of Brookchase and Lakeview Landing have been pleading with council to do something about the noise at concrete plants in 521 Perimeter Commerce Park. The park is adjacent to some homes in Brookchase and Lakeview Landing.

There are four concrete companies in 521 Perimeter park, but residents have complained the most about Blue Dot.

Two other concrete companies in the park have made efforts to reduce noise and lighting at night by enclosing parts of their plants.

The committee members – Councilmen Bryan Vaughn, Larry Honeycutt and Rudy Carter – spoke with Ron Garrett and Steve Mosely of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control at Wednesday's meeting, the committee's first. Garrett and Mosely have been working with residents and concrete company officials to try to determine solutions to the problem.

Mosely said DHEC is dealing with an unusual situation in the Panhandle, because concrete plants are usually not located so close to neighborhoods.

Garrett suggested that the county could set limits on hours when the concrete plants could operate. Residents say Blue Dot often cranks up in the early morning hours. Blue Dot has implemented some procedures to lessen its impact on Brookchase, such as keeping lights off during the night, and not allowing trucks to idle on the lot, Garrett said.

Garrett said he would like for Blue Dot to enclose its plant and wet down its parking lot to lessen the dust that residents say coats their homes and has been causing respiratory problems for some.

"If they're not going to pave it, they're going to have to keep it wet," Garrett said.

It's not the goal of DHEC to try to shut the plants down, Garrett added.

The county paid $10,000 to have a study done of the noise generated by the concrete plants, and is considering toughening its noise ordinance.

Vaughn, who represents Indian Land, said the noise ordinance would be difficult to implement countywide.

"I know it's terrible for four or five homes, but I don't hear a lot from anyone else," Vaughn said. "You can't apply one law in Indian Land but not apply it in Kershaw or Buford or wherever. You can't create a law to serve five people."

Carter said he will invite officials from CEMEX, Blue Dot, Concrete Supply Co. and McLeod – the concrete companies at the park – to the committee's next meeting June 18.

After that, the committee will meet with residents of the area, some of whom have formed a group called Friends of Indian Land, or FOIL.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or at 283-1151