PHOENIX – Neighbors of the only brick yard operating in the state complained about pollution and dust from the facility at a public hearing Tuesday night.
About 30 people attended the meeting, held as part of the Phoenix Brick Yard’s quest to get a permit regulating its operation as a major source of hazardous air pollution.
Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, who represents the area, was in the audience. She did not testify, but said later that the 67-year-old operation should be required to install scrubbers to clean the hazardous emissions.
The brick yard, at 1814 S. Seventh Avenue, releases hydrogen fluoride during the brick-making process. The chemical is classified as a hazardous air pollutant and is linked to respiratory problems and eye irritation.
To avoid the cost of adding scrubbers, the plant has agreed to trim its daily brick production so it falls under the limit at which pollution-control equipment is required.
Neighbors object to that, calling it a technical dodge that will leave their south-central community with as much pollution as it has had all along.
A decision on whether to grant the permit should be made within a matter of months, said Steve Peplau, manager of the air-quality division of Maricopa County’s Environmental Services Department.