Ecocem's proposed manufacturing plant in San Francisco Bay faces a potential planning setback after receiving almost 500 submissions challenging its environmental impact report, the Irish Times reports.
Ecocem is seeking permission to repurpose a former flour milling site into a grinding plant grinding plant in Vallejo, close to San Francisco, marking the Irish group's first venture in the United States. Under subsidiary Orcem California, the facility will include silos and truck/rail loading facilities. The project also includes the Vallejo Marine Terminal, which is located at the base of Vallejo, just inside San Francisco Bay.
According to local reports, between 400 and 500 people and organisations have questioned the company's assessment of the grinding plant's likely impact on the environment, which could force Vallejo's council to delay a decision on planning permission until 2016.
The council was hoping to have cleared all planning hurdles by this month, but local sources say the volume of questions posed during a 60-day public consultation period means the deadline could be pushed back to March.
California law requires Orcem Americas to answer the questions before preparing a final environmental impact report. The city's Architectural Heritage and Landmarks Commission will have to decide whether the buildings that would be knocked to make way for the plant are historic, which is likely to happen this month.
The proposal will then have to pass both the Vallejo Planning Commission and then get the support of a majority of councillors before it can get the green light.