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Magnablend move angers citizens

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File photo Wikimedia Commons: Panorama View of the Superconducting Super Collider Site Aug. 8, 2008 - After the SSC project was canceled, the main site was deeded to Ellis County, and the county tried numerous times to sell the property. The property was File photo Wikimedia Commons: Panorama View of the Superconducting Super Collider Site Aug. 8, 2008 - After the SSC project was canceled, the main site was deeded to Ellis County, and the county tried numerous times to sell the property. The property was

WAXAHACHIE – Magnablend has been at the height of criticism from many area residents after the disastrous plant explosion Monday, Oct. 3. located at Eastbound Highway 287 and Interstate Highway 35. 

Now, it’s potential move to the former Superconducting Super Collider site is gaining opposition. 

At least 70 in opposition were at the Ellis County Commissioners Court meeting Monday, Jan. 9. 

A discussion-only agenda item regarding a possible increase in weight limits on Arrowhead Road, adjacent to the property commonly referred to as the SSC, was of hot debate. 

If the plant moves, large semi-trucks will be driving down long stretches of road leading up to the facility. 

Those opposed to the new location fear what happened in October, might happen again.

Investigators found chemicals released in Waxahachie stemming from the plant explosion were toxic, resulting in hundreds of dead fish in nearby lakes and streams. 

At the time, a local chemist said the chemicals in the fire could possibly pose “cancer risk to death for those with compromised lung function with asthmatics particularly at risk for bronchospasm, as well as chemical pneumonitis for those closest to the fire.”

According to their website, Magnablend, Inc. provides custom chemical blending, manufacturing, and packaging services. It offers liquid and powder blending services; and specialty chemical blending services, such as exothermic and endothermic reactions, anhydrous ammonia, powder spraying, polymer dispersions, and precision accuracy.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Heath Sims did not know when or if a move was planned yet but, more than one residents living in the area have already seen semi trucks going down to the proposed location. 

“As I have stated I am not in favor of the potential move of Magnablend to the old SSC location and do not think this is at all the best suited location,” stated Sims via an email interview.

“I also understand that Ellis County does not have any authority to deny or regulate this type of business.”

The opposition, stemming from mostly property owners in the area of the new location site, are concerned and demand more transparency from government.

“We are normal everyday citizens that have sought peaceful family life,” said Alex Schindler, spokesperson for the newly formed group, “Ellis County Concerned Citizens.”

According to a news release by the  county, during the commissioners court meeting  Assistant County Attorney Lee Auvenshine explained to the audience the county does not have zoning authority over the SSC property.  The county only has the authority to regulate those specific businesses called out in the statutes, namely sexually oriented businesses, outdoor recycling, salvage yards and slaughterhouses.

As a prior owner of the SSC complex, the county did have discretion to amend deed restrictions that were put in place when the property was sold to the current owner in 2006.  One of the deed restrictions was amended at the request of Data Collider, LLC during the Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 meeting of the court.

Schindler says the opposition is growing stronger by the hour.

“We now have over 300 singed petition signatures and more are coming every hour…Our goal is to have 500 be next week.”

Sims wants his constituents to know this issue is very touching for him as well.

“This issue is very tough for me because I do not like the idea of Magnablend or any business at this location but I also believe in our capitalistic system and the freedom from government in buying property and the right of an individual to make a choice or investment and hopefully that choice will lead to success, “said Sims. 

The court allowed at least 20 to speak who were in opposition, one spoke for it.

“We are not against Magnablend. We are against them moving to our pristine area,” said Schindler.

Magnablend CEO Scott Pendry has told citizens he will make himself accessible as much as possible.

Pendry was a no-show at a meeting set for last Friday, Jan.6 near the SSC citing “security reasons” but was present at the Monday hearing. 

Ellis County Human Services Director Diana Buckley doesn’t think the weight limit issue on the roads will go further but, if it does, she said the next public hearing will be at the Commissioner’s Court on Monday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.


Subscribe to comments feed Comments (11 posted)

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Ellis RTK 01/13/2012 17:20:56
Not only is increased truck traffic and noise a concern for residents, but there is a dairy farm that ajoins the SSC property. The dairy farm distributes milk nationally. The national food supply could be at risk from emissions emitted from a chemical blending facility or worse, another accident similar to the fire on Oct. 3, 2011 at Magnablend's Central Facility. Magnablend CEO Scott Pendery has claimed that the company takes safety seriously, but the fact of the matter is that an accident still occurred, which has been an environmental disaster. Residents of Waxahachie are just lucky that the wind was blowing from the south rather than the north. A toxic chemical plant has no business wanting to operate anywhere other than at an industrial zoned location.
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Lance 01/20/2012 22:02:14
Right, I don't want any more chemicals in my cow meat, milk, etc... except of course the artificial hormones and rBST steroids that are injected into them... and oh so good for me!

I think I'll take my chances with the chemical plant.
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Julie 01/13/2012 17:24:55
Found it very curious that the weight limit signs on said roads were already being taken down today..Jan 13th...BEFORE the scheduled meeting for residents to be heard. IF no changes were to be made before that meeting, why are those signs being taken down now?
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Mae 01/16/2012 15:58:06
Scott Pendry is one of the most decent people I know. He was out himself on Thanksgiving Day fixing pumps that were pumping water out of the ditches from the burned down Magnablend factory. How many CEOs do you know that would do that? Not one of his employees missed a paycheck after the fire. Any employee affected by the fire (vehicle damaged, etc.) he gave them a paid week off to settle their problems. He relocated employees affected to other locations. How many other CEOs would do that? He DOES care about the people of Waxahachie. The fire was a freak accident. They mixed a batch larger than they ever had and unfortunately the chemists' figures supported that but the vapors didn't. THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED AN ACCIDENT. Scott has made a commitment to try and get the site and surrounding areas cleaned up as soon as humanly possible. Give the man and the company a break. Oh and one more thing: it wasn't toxins that killed the fish. It was lack of oxygen where the chemical put an oily top surface on the water. Fish couldn't get to the surface to breathe. So don't believe everything you hear. Magnablend is trying to do the best it can under unfortunate circumstances.
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Vee 01/19/2012 10:52:27
Mae, no one has addressed Scott Pendry's character. What we are addressing is the removal of the deed restrictions which would not have allowed a chemical plant to relocate in a rural agricultural unzoned area which provides dairy, beef and grain nationally. Better minds knew the infrastructure and fragile environmental balance would not be able to handle such an operation with out serious damage, which is why restrictions were placed. Magnablend has caused serious EPA and TCEQ concerns at their present sites. They need to be in an industrial area where they can receive proper oversight. Oh and one more thing, the chemical used to remove oxygen for wastewater treatment which contaminated the pond did prove pretty toxic to those little fishies.
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BS 01/20/2012 19:46:41
Mae "fish couldn't get to the top to breathe?" Mae fish breathe through the gills and through the water. The chems that got into the pond either created algae growth which starved the water of oxygen, or the high levels of heavy metals killed them, or both. The toxicology report is out on the water, but not on the fish yet. But I think I'm going over your head, since you think fish breathe by surfacing.
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Ellis RTK 01/22/2012 14:00:23
Is Magnablend CEO Scott Pendery capable of safely operating a hazardous chemical plant?

Magnablend founders David and Darlene Pendery retired from Magnablend in 2011.

On May 31, 2011, Cotton Creek Capital, Austin Ventures and TGF Magagement Corp joined Scott Pendery in taking ownership.

Shortly after four months into the new ownership with Scott Pendery now the CEO of Magnablend, the plant violently explodes.

Scott Pendery took a company with a 32-year history of no major accidents and immediately destroyed that reputation and an entire facility in a single day on October 3, 2011.

Is Scott Pendery capable of safely operating a hazardous chemical plant? He's not off to a good start yet.
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Stop freaking out people! 01/24/2012 01:09:51
One mishap and you people think the world will end if they move into the SSC. Where do you want them to go? The buildings are there sitting vacant and rotting away. They where built for heavy industrial and need to be used. What did you think when you bought your property around the SSC property that it would just sit thee and never be used. You talk about air quality if they move in, they are moving like 5 miles from where they are at now. The are quality is not going to change from what it is now. As far as the weight rating on the roads going to the SSC, they where able to handle the construction of the SSC which had alot heavier loads than Magnablend. Arrowhead Rd. along with other roads in the area built by the SSC project where designed with the thought that cargo plans and passenger plans could land to deliver supplies or people. I am all for them moving into the old SSC building, would be nice to see out finally being used for something.
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Ellis RTK 02/01/2012 07:43:22
One mishap? The concern is one mishap after only four months of Scott Pendery becoming the CEO and only three years of the Central Plant being operational. That's not a good record. Residents aren't complaining that the buildings are going to be used; they are complaining because a hazardous chemical plant with no regard for cleaning up an existing environmental disaster is moving in. There's a reason why the county put the deed restriction on the property in 2006... to protect residents from any business that requires a permit from the TCEQ. The County Commissioners' Court removed that restriction on Dec. 12.
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raccoon 01/30/2012 10:39:56
Since when does the county believe in property rights? I have seen more and more restrictions placed on property ownership in the last few years than ever.
Ask any member of the court how many people were refused permits to build on property that either was inherited or given by family members. The reason: the water line for the the fire department was either non existant or was too small. The court was requesting the owner to install these water line requirements which would cost more that the proposed home and property combined.
This was done with the ignorant (to the rights of property owners) lawyers that advise the court.
To avoid a lawsuit, the court began approving variances so owners could build.
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