Newberry targets firm on pipe dumping


Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 1:18 a.m.
NEWBERRY - City officials are asking a pipe manufacturing company to stop using a factory here for what they describe as a dumping site for debris from other plants.
Company officials say, however, that the materials brought to Newberry are being shipped elsewhere soon after being processed.
Newberry officials said they were concerned about what they called a growing pile of pipe fragments at the J-M Manufacturing Co. location on SW 250th Street. The company stopped producing pipe at the site about two years ago, but city officials said materials from other plants have been trucked in.
City commissioners on Monday authorized City Planner Lowell Garrett to send a letter to the company's New Jersey headquarters asking for a timetable on when the materials would be removed. J-M is the largest manufacturer of PVC pipe in the United States, according to the company's Web site.
The letter, which Garrett said was hand-delivered to the plant manager in Newberry and mailed to company officials in New Jersey on Tuesday, also asked that no additional deposits be made at the site, and that city officials be allowed to inspect the materials now there.
"It was my understanding that they did this pipe-grinding as part and parcel to get rid of the refuse, the broken pipes, during the production," Garrett said. "But what they're doing now, what is different, is this is not a byproduct of a manufacturing process."
Barry Lin, director of production for J-M Manufacturing, said the plastic pipe fragments were being moved soon after they were processed in Newberry.
He said he has asked other plants to stop transporting the scrap to the city.
"Newberry was never being treated like a landfill," he said.
Lin said he had not heard about city officials' concerns before Tuesday.
"They're supposed to involve us immediately, not just suddenly write us a letter," Lin said.
Garrett said he had spoken with the Newberry plant manager about the matter on two previous occasions.
Fire Chief David Rodriguez said he noticed the pile of fragments after hearing about it from residents. Rodriguez said the company is permitted to store pipe and dispose of the fragments that were there when the plant was in operation.
"But they can't come in there and make it a dump site," he said. "That's the only thing we're trying to stop."
Lin, who said he planned to write a letter addressing the concerns of Newberry officials, said the company planned to process the materials now at the site and to ship it elsewhere.
Rachel Kipp can be reached at (352) 374-5086 or kippr@gvillesun.com.

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