Proposed blacktop plant on hold in LaGrange

The BTM asphalt recycling facility where they are seeking to install a hot-mix asphalt plant.

LAGRANGE – Residents fighting against the construction of an asphalt plant at the BTM property on Commerce Street are lauding an October determination by the town’s zoning administrator citing a local law prohibits the construction of Bituminous (asphalt) and Portland Cement concrete facilities from operating in the town.  The ruling also said the hot mix asphalt plant is not an “accessory use” and is not considered “light industry”, which halted the project.

Mid-Hudson Materials, LLC (MHM), the BTM subsidiary seeking to operate the plant, appealed the decision in November.  The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) has indicated that a special meeting will be scheduled for a date in April, at which time they will announce their decision regarding the MHM appeal.

When the plans were submitted to the planning board in 2021, the board ruled that the type of planned asphalt plant would not affect the environment. The original plans submitted were less than accurate, seemingly attempting to build a full-size asphalt plant despite the plans containing a description that would meet the town’s requirements and obtain approval.

In January 2022, detailed drawings were submitted, showing large silos and a blast furnace on the plans, triggering a review by the zoning board.  At that time, the Save LaGrange organization, including many of the residential neighbors of BTM, began investigating the plan as well.  One member of Save LaGrange called it “A typical bait and switch” attempt by MHM.

Relying on the planning board’s original approval, MHM proceed in seeking an air quality permit from DEC.  The DEC has indicated that the permit will be approved, subject to public comment.  Save LaGrange members have asked town leaders to rescind the original planning board approval and advise the DEC of its reversal.  Jen Hunt of Save LaGrange noted that the DEC is accepting public comments through March 23, 2023.  Those wishing to provide the DEC with comments on the plan can do so here.

“I strongly oppose the Mid-Hudson Materials appeal,” said Hunt, adding, “I oppose the audacious claim that an asphalt plant is an accessory use of the existing crushing facility.”  BTM  currently uses the site to accept large rocks, broken concrete, and similar materials that are all crushed and turned into base material, lnown as Item 4.  Denouncing MHM’s appeal seeking a “Light Industry” designation, Hunt said “The federal government categorizes hot mix asphalt plants in the same industrial classification as oil refineries.”  The current crushing operations at the site are not in the same category.