Why Wheeling trustees rejected plan for hazardous materials processing facility

  • Triumvirate Environmental's proposal to operate a hazardous waste processing facility at 1680 S. Wolf Road in Wheeling was rejected this week by the village board.

      Triumvirate Environmental's proposal to operate a hazardous waste processing facility at 1680 S. Wolf Road in Wheeling was rejected this week by the village board. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/22/2022 4:08 PM

A proposal to open a hazardous waste processing facility in Wheeling has been rejected by village officials.

Triumvirate Environmental wanted to operate in an existing industrial building at 1680 S. Wolf Road. The site is near the Avalon Sienna neighborhood.

 

The Massachusetts-based company removes hazardous waste from medical offices, research facilities and other types of businesses, representative Ian Lanza told the village board Monday. It collects drums of potentially dangerous trash in box trucks and then transfers the containers to semitrailer trucks for eventual disposal elsewhere.

Materials at the proposed Wheeling transfer site could've included plastics, chemicals and medical waste, documents indicate. That medical waste could've include viruses and other pathogens.

During Monday's village board meeting, several people who live near the building being eyed for the business -- as well as people from other towns -- expressed concerns about waste poisoning the air, the water supply and a nearby creek.

"Please, choose our safety, our families and our homes over Triumvirate," speaker Jennifer Jones said.

Later in the meeting, Trustee Joe Vito repeatedly asked Triumvirate representatives about what could happen to people if they're exposed to the waste the trucks transport, and how such exposure could occur.

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"What is the doomsday scenario?" Vito asked.

A leaking drum or a traffic accident seemed to be the most likely possibilities. Representatives acknowledged some of the materials in the trucks are infectious, flammable or corrosive, but they tried to assure village officials about the effectiveness of their cleanup procedures.

The company had sought a municipal permit to process hazardous waste.

Wheeling's plan commission, which advises the village board on development issues, recommended denial of the permit by a 4-3 vote following a discussion last month.

After a lengthy discussion Monday, village board members denied the request with a 5-2 vote. Vito and fellow trustees Jim Ruffatto, Dave Vogel and Ray Lang voted against the plan, as did Village President Pat Horcher. Trustees Mary Krueger and Mary Papantos voted to grant the permit.

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