Wednesday, September 18, 2013

PhD Chemist Claims Watson Asphalt Co. Emissions Are Creating a Public Health Issue

David Morton addressed the City Council and Mayor about a potential public health issue in SE Redmond attributed to emissions from Watson Asphalt on 1922 NE Union Hill Road..  Mr. Morton is a PhD chemist with 15 years experience working in labs where he tested water and soil samples for chemical pollutants. 

Morton's home is seven blocks East of the Watson Asphalt plant and every year he smells "stench" from the plant.  He claims waste petroleum is boiled off to make asphalt tar releasing invisible "VOC's" into the air.  He said these VOC emissions circulate a mile and a half from the plant to the Millinium Office Park,  Perrigo Park, Bear Creek School, and Friendly Village.  

Morton said the EPA states asphalt fumes are known toxins but the only regulation currently done locally is particle size of the emissions.  He asked the Mayor if the city could improve their air standards.  He ran off a whole list of carcinogens that could be associated with the VOC fumes. 

Peter Shroeder, the Owner and Operator of Watson Asphalt addressed the Council stating the company has been in business in Redmond since l964, has a 100 employees, and "saved the City $700,000 in the past four years by being a local company."  He explained the manufacturing process and concluded that air emissions are regulated, permitted, and inspected by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. 

Mayor Marchione said staff would look into the claims made by Morton and get back to him in the next two weeks. 

Reported By Bob Yoder

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some mornings I have noticed an awful industrial/chemical stench (like the smell of tar) in the air outside here on Education Hill. I wonder if there is any connection.
--GardenMom

Bob Yoder said...

I smelled it one day, too. Could they be making asphalt for the 85th Street repaving??

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to this?
We are staying in Woodbridge island - and the stench is overwhelming at times.

I cannot understand how it could possibly be zone for heavy industrial use right next a residential estate.

If the owner/ceo wants to run his plant here he is welcome, provided he moves himself and his entire family here....

I am seriously concerned about the health implications to myself and my family.

-concerned father

Anonymous said...

I am curious as to whether any changes have been made in the inputs to the asphalt to comply with regulations. Any updates would be welcome?

Also, is the current smell due to the paving of Union Hill and 188th intersection? Or is it due to the plant?