Riceboro city officials confirmed this week that SNF Chemtall Inc. is building a development laboratory at its Riceboro facility.
“The building was fully vetted by the council,” Riceboro Mayor Bill Austin said. “We have assurances from Chemtall that they won’t have any more hazardous materials (at the lab) as you would store in your garage.”
Chemtall manufactures water-soluble polymers that are used in municipal, industrial and wastewater-treatment facilities as well as specialty applications, according to the company’s website, snfinc.com.
SNF Chemtall representatives were unable to comment on the new laboratory by press time Thursday.
Austin said the council believes the new laboratory will not pose any threat to public health, since Chemtall will not be storing large quantities of materials in or around the new building. The mayor stressed the company went through the proper channels during a six-month period to plan, design and get the proper permitting for the new building. Chemtall representatives went before the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission, and a hearing was advertised and later held at Riceboro City Hall, Austin said.
The Riceboro City Council approved the company’s design and construction plans for the new laboratory Feb. 5, and approved Chemtall’s rezoning request for the property to be rezoned general commercial March 5.
LCPC Assistant Zoning Administrator Gabriele Hartage said the laboratory is part of the construction project’s first phase, and that two more buildings, to be used for administrative purposes, would be built in the final phase.
Hartage said the new lab building is about “halfway finished.” There also is gravel parking and some decorative fencing facing Highway 17, she added. Paved parking should be installed in the project’s final phase.