The Arizona Republic
Sept. 12, 2009 07:00 AM
Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. officials battled criticism from city officials and residents this week and argued that the company’s south Phoenix asphalt plant operates in an environmentally responsible manner.
“I have heard people say that there are noxious fumes coming from this plant,” said Darrick Manezes, Fisher’s environmental manager. “That is simply not true.”
The smell may be strong at times, but it’s not harmful, he said.
Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. is part of Fisher Industries, a Dickinson, N.D.-based firm that operates in 10 states and has been awarded $45 million in state roadwork contracts in the past year.
The firm’s asphalt plant, 3828 S. 28th St., has come under fire from south Phoenix residents and city officials.
Residents complain the plant produces smoke, dust and a hot rubber odor. A Phoenix Municipal Court judge ruled that Fisher never obtained a proper Phoenix permit to build the plant. Fisher has appealed.
Fisher also faces possible fines from environmental regulators for violations at the plant and at mining sites around the state.
The hourlong community meeting Wednesday at Broadway Heritage Neighborhood Resource Center drew about 20 residents, including City Councilman Michael Johnson and state Rep. Cloves Campbell Jr., D-Phoenix.
Here are five things that Fisher officials told residents: