|Asphalt Plant Update
September 28, 2002
On September 23, 2002, I received (as did other City Council members) the following email letter from Jim Worden of Owens Corning:
September 23, 2002
The Honorable Thomas K. Butt
Dear Mr. Butt,
Thank you for taking your time to meet to discuss Owens Corning's plans regarding the Trumbull Roofing Asphalt facility in the City of Richmond. Our meetings with you, the mayor, the other councilmembers and the Director of the Rosie the Riveter National Park in combination with the various neighborhood groups provided us with a better understanding of the Richmond community.
During our meetings we were asked to follow-up with more information regarding our safety record, our code of ethics and the revenue our facility would provide to the City. We are happy to address any other questions not covered by the information provided below.
1) Safety Record - Of the four tank incidents occurring at our 21 facilities over the past two years there were no injuries to our employees and no property damage to our neighbors. Owens Corning's injury index is 1.3 compared to an industry average (SIC Code 295) of 4.2.
2) Code of Ethics - Owens Corning strives for success through our commitment to three guiding principles.
Owens Corning is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Based in Toledo, OH where the company was founded in 1938, Owens Corning now employs over 19,000 people, with a presence in almost every state in the U.S and over 30 countries around the world. The diverse make-up of the Company - global locations, a wide range of products and numerous functional areas -- offers potential employees thousands of opportunities to grow and develop both professionally and personally in a fast-paced and progressive environment.
3) Revenue to the City of Richmond - The estimated revenue to the City is $1,150,380. Since the property is leased and we do not pay property tax this amount is slightly less than the $1,300,000 amount discussed at our meeting. We also discussed sales tax in several of our meetings. Upon review we found that our sales do not involve sales tax as they are not to the final consumer.
On behalf of Joe Cendro, Tony McIIroy, Mandar Phadke and all of the Trumbull Asphalt Team I thank you for your time and attention. And again, if you have any further questions please contact me.
I thanked Mr. Worden for his letter and asked him for the following clarifications:
August 13, 2001, Following an accident at its Denver plant in February in which an employee lost an arm, Owens Corning received citations for two alleged willful violations and one alleged serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The company was issued proposed penalties totaling$130,000. The violations and penalties were issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Denver area office, following an inspection that began Feb. 15, 2001. Violations found were the result of inadequate machine guarding on asphalt shingle manufacturing equipment. "An employee lost his arm and other employees were exposed to serious machine guarding hazards because this employer did not address recognized hazards prior to the accident," said Herb Gibson, acting OSHA area director in Denver, noting that reducing amputations is a national priority for OSHA.OSHA cited Owens Corning for two alleged willful violations: failure to guard sprocket wheels and chains with a proposed penalty of $70,000; and failure to guard rotating parts and in running nip-points, with a$55,000 proposed penalty. The alleged serious violation, with a proposed penalty of$5,000, was for failure to guard rotating parts such as belts and6
Mr. Worden responded with a phone call, providing the following:
1. Mr. Worden conceded that the employees’ wages would not be direct income to the City of Richmond but that some of the money would be spent in the City of Richmond and have a multiplier effect.
2. Mr. Worden said that the “dis-arming” and subsequent fines occurred at an Owens Corning shingle plant, not an Ownes Corning asphalt plant.
In a related action, officials and consultants from Owens Corning, the City of Richmond and the Rosie the Riveter WW II Homefront National Historical Park met earlier this week with Will Travis, Executive Director of BCDC, to discuss whether or not the proposed asphalt plant is an allowable use in a Port Priority Area. Mr. Travis took the issue under consideration and will issue an opinion perhaps in the next few days.
Note the following article that appeared in the San Francisco Business Times on September 20, 2002.
From the September 20, 2002 print edition
New asphalt plant proposal is on the line in Richmond
Owens Corning executives met privately with several Richmond City Council members last week to discuss a proposed $15 million-plus asphalt plant at Point Potrero Marine Terminal.
The plant, slated to sit just north of the historic Shipyard 3 Cafeteria building would convert bulk asphalt into roofing materials.
The development by Toledo, Ohio-based Owens could generate around $1.3 million in annual rent for the Port of Richmond, sales tax revenue if it's designated as a point of sale and jobs for city residents. But some city officials are concerned about what else it will generate.
City Councilman Thomas Butt, who met with Owens officials last week, said the company expects the plant to annually spew 144.3 tons of emissions, an amount allowed only if the company first purchases or trades pollution credits.
"The mind-set for too long has been, 'We'll put a coal mine here if it brings some tax dollars,'" Butt said.
Owens' next step will be to either commission an environmental impact report, which will list the environmental consequences of the development as well as planned mitigation measures, or produce a negative declaration, which asserts there will be little environmental harm. The determination is made by a city panel, but Butt expects Owens to push for the latter.
An Owens spokesman did not return calls from the San Francisco Business Times.