The state Department of Environmental Quality has set a time and date to take public comment about a proposed barge cleaning facility to be located near the Farr Park Equestrian Center in Baton Rouge.
The hearing will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, in the Oliver Pollock room of the Galvez Building, 602 N. Fifth St., Baton Rouge.
Tubal-Cain Marine Service turned in a permit application to DEQ last year. If approved, the facility would be considered a minor source of air pollution. The facility expects to release 10 tons of nitrogen oxide, 49 tons of carbon monoxide and 15 tons of volatile organic compounds annually.
Minor source air permits don’t require any public notice, but the department decided to hold one in response to letters and phone calls from area residents.
The facility would include a mooring area and two working deck barges with 10 storage tanks — each having a 15,000-gallon capacity, pumps, a truck loading station and an enclosed flare.
The facility would take in barges and pump the remaining liquid into storage tanks. That material would then be put into tank trucks for later sale or disposal. Any remaining vapors in the barges would be sent to the enclosed flare if the emissions are toxic, or released to the air if they are not, according to the December permit application.
The facility would be located on the river side of the Mississippi River levee across from the park and several neighborhoods. Earlier this year, neighbors expressed concerns about air quality, noise, and the closeness of the operation to residences and an active park.
Kevin Cope, president of the LSU Faculty Senate, wrote to DEQ asking for a town hall meeting to be held to answer questions about the facility. Cope said that in addition to the public hearing, a representative from Tubal-Cain Marine Services said he would talk to the Faculty Senate.
Follow Amy Wold on Twitter, @awold10.