Residents protest chemical plant project

Site of proposed chemical plant in Wilson
September 5, 2011 3:45:26 PM PDT
A group of concerned Wilson residents are trying to prevent a chemical plant from being built in their neighborhood.

Near the proposed build site is a playground. "That's enough for council to take that into consideration," said resident Frank Jones. "If they don't take that into consideration, then what are we supposed to do?"

The plant would replace a vacant concrete facility. Residents say they do not oppose the plant being built in Wilson, but they oppose it being built in a neighborhood setting.

Texas-based Penco, Inc. has offered to build the manufacturing plant, which would create new jobs, but it's a tough sell for opponents.

"There's too many unanswered questions," resident Linda Moore said. "All it takes is one accident."

ABC11 Eyewitness News tried to contact city leaders and the chemical manufacturing plant. Records show other plants owned by Penco were cited for serious workplace violations back in 2004 and 2006.

Residents say the company has assured them its facilities are safe, but the proposed plant is too close for comfort.

"We've been told by the company that they don't have any plants in a residential area," resident Joanne Daniels explained.

The Wilson City Council is expected to vote on the plant in the next two weeks.

"We're asking everyone to come out and support us," Daniels added.

Meanwhile, the group is planning a rally at the park near the proposed plant Saturday to voice their concerns about more than their neighborhood.

"The safety of the city because this may be a problem for the whole city, not just our neighborhood," Daniels said.

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