Frisco, asphalt plant reach clean-air agreement

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by By VALERIE WIGGLESWORTH / The Dallas Morning News

wfaa.com

Posted on October 29, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 12 at 12:06 PM

A settlement between city officials and a hot-mix asphalt facility in southeast Frisco is expected to bring cleaner air to neighborhoods surrounding the plant.

The Frisco City Council voted unanimously at a special meeting Wednesday night to approve the agreement, which came about through discussions among the city, the company and others protesting the permit.

At issue is APAC-Texas Inc.'s practice of using reclaimed industrial oil as fuel, which city officials say may be a public health risk.

People living near the plant have complained of burning eyes, headaches and other respiratory issues for years. Parents have also expressed health concerns about their children attending Frisco ISD's Isbell Elementary, which is about 2,500 feet from APAC's property line.

Under the agreement, the city will pay up to $50,000 through its economic development corporation to provide a natural-gas line and meter at the facility. Any rebates from that installation will go toward APAC's expenses to change its equipment to burn natural gas, according to the pact.

In return, APAC has agreed to use natural gas as its primary fuel and to have used fuel oil removed from its permit as an allowable source.

"There's no doubt this is a much cleaner burning fuel," City Manager George Purefoy said. APAC officials could not be reached for comment.

The plant opened for operations on State Highway 121 just west of Custer Road in 1981. Many of the residential neighborhoods north of the plant were built within the last 10 years.

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