Group opposes Colfax firm’s plan to hike toxic burning

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COLFAX — A public policy nonprofit is urging central Louisiana residents to oppose a Colfax hazardous waste company’s expansion plans.

Clean Harbors Colfax LLC has applied to burn more than 2 million pounds of hazardous waste a year, The Town Talk reports.

That would hurt health by increasing open burning of toxic materials, according to Louisiana Progress Action. Clean Harbors’ current permit lets it burn about 500,000 pounds a year.
The state Department of Environmental Quality is taking comments on the application until Jan. 5.

The company says in its application that it takes “all reasonable measures” to protect the environment.

Colfax Mayor Ossie Clark says he’s investigating to decide whether the city should take an official stance on the application. “It is a very big concern,” he said Friday.

The Colfax facility is “uniquely permitted to treat over 300 kinds of explosives and reactive waste,” according to the website for the Colfax facility’s parent company, Clean Harbors Inc., of Norwell, Massachusetts.

It says its typical waste stream includes high explosives, warheads, air bags, fireworks, rocket motors, munitions, propellants, shaped charges, detonating cord, nitro-related compounds and undeployed airbags.

The Colfax facility has eight full-time employees. It has operated since 1985 and has had a hazardous waste permit since 1993, documents show.

An EPA document shows the Colfax facility’s “3-year Compliance Status” as having no violations.

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