Opponents of asphalt plant win a partial victory

Opponents of an asphalt plant in south Kansas City won a partial victory this week when a judge issued a temporary restraining order against a state permit for the plant.

A lawsuit filed this month alleges that the Ideker asphalt plant near Interstate 49 and Missouri 150 spews harmful particulate emissions.

The order restrains the Missouri Department of Natural Resources from issuing a permanent permit until a hearing on Nov. 6.

The asphalt plant has been operating under a temporary permit issued by Kansas City in June 2012. The lawsuit, filed by the city of Grandview and a group of residents, contends that the plant’s particulate emissions exceed standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Grandview says about 25,000 of its residents live, work or engage in other activities within 4,000 feet of the plant. That includes two elementary schools. The city also contends that the plant deters economic development in Grandview and along the Missouri 150 corridor.

“The prevailing winds blow the emission directly into the city of Grandview most of the year,” said Grandview Public Works Director Dennis Randolph. “We have got calls from developers who have said they are not interested in developing (in the area) if that plant is there.”

A response to the lawsuit contended that opponents failed to follow proper procedures by applying to the court instead of appealing before an administrative commission.

The plant may continue to operate pending the court’s review. Officials at Ideker could not be reached for comment.