The Arglass glass container manufacturing plant off of Rocky Ford Road southwest of Valdosta, Georgia, has filed an air quality permit application for a second furnace. This is the phase 2 that was in the plans since at least 2016.
What they want to do is more pithily summarized in a local variance Arglass already got from the Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA) on June 6, 2023:
- VAR-2023-13- All or part of Tax Map 0059-Parcel 094 and a part of Tax Map 0063- Parcel 012. A request from Arglass for a Variance to Table 4.01.02 (E) of the ULDC as it pertains to standards for building location. The subject property is located at 1 Arglass Road, Valdosta, Georgia in a M-2 (Heavy Manufacturing) zoning district.
In the minutes, Trinni Amiot explains for Lowndes County, “Arglass needs a second furnace. The only way for the bank lending officer, to support that is for it to be on its own parcel. What they’re suggesting is to create a second parcel, put the furnace on that with zero lot lines, and then it’ll meet the requirements of the lending company. What they’re suggesting is to create a second parcel, put the furnace on that with zero lot lines, and then it’ll meet the requirements of the lending company. It’s on M-2 surrounded by E-A. Those black lines are the current parcel lines. Now, those will be reconfigured. The expansion of the Arglass will more than double the footprint of the existing facility and includes the second furnace. The lending agent requires that the furnace is on the side of the parcel. To maintain efficient operations, the new expansion must be connected to the existing facility and the variance request is for zero lot lines between the two tra[cts].”
There was apparently a map of the proposed new plant area in the ZBOA packet, which I have requested from Lowndes County.
Lowndes County parcel 0059-094 is the current site of the plant in 80.93 acres owned by the Valdosta-Lowndes Industrial Authority. Parcel 0063-012 is the much larger parcel owned by LANGDALE CAPITAL ASSETS INC from which the plant parcel was split out in 2016.
The air quality permit application includes a map with an expanded boundary:
Curiously, that map shows two emission points within the original parcel, and none in the expanded are.
It is curious how the size and shape of the plant area keeps changing.
Trinni Amiot also remarked, “I think that the new furnace is supposed to be a little quieter, and the only complaints through the years that we’ve gotten about Arglass has been about noise.”
ZBOA Chairman Mac McCall asked, “Since this is totally an aside, it’s just something, since you are expanding, you’re not required to hold all your water on the same side as what you’re building on. Do we need to do anything to address that?”
Clayton Milligan answered for the applicant, “If I’m not mistaken, there might be some stormwater easement that got put in place. That can be done outside of this. It would be like a master’s regional storm water facility for a park, but this is its own private park.”
No objections had been filed with ZBOA, and nobody spoke against. ZBOA voted unanimously to approve the variance.
Needless to say, in the air quality permit application there is nothing about any stormwater easement. I will check with Lowndes County and the Development Authority to see if they know more about that.
Even though USGS maps show the plant site in the Withlacoochee River watershed, actually it drains to Mud Swamp Creek, which is in the Alapaha River watershed.
Mud Swamp Creek joins Grand Bay Creek to form the Alapahoochee River, which joins the Alapaha River in Florida.
The entire air quality permit, received from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in response to a WWALS open records requests, is on the WWALS website.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®