AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – A judge signed the papers Tuesday for the Augusta Economic Development Authority to receive the authorization to issue $760 million in bonds for a company that plans a facility here.
The Savannah Riverkeeper was in court to oppose the approval that would help German company Aurubis open a $340 million metal recycling and secondary smelting facility in south Augusta.
Aurubis has filed an air permit request with Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division for the plant that promises 125 jobs.
The Savannah Riverkeeper calls it a request to release what it calls “more than 30 hazardous pollutants into the air that the people of Augusta breathe.”
The Riverkeeper says people will now have to speak out about air quality and yo let officials know what they do and don’t want.
The Riverkeeper pointed out that the approval in court came on the same day as the announcement of a plan to revitalize the old Regency Mall site, creating housing for 2,000 people along with shops, restaurants and more.
The Riverkeeper says plants that pollute would ruin such dreams of growth for south Augusta.
“As we announce the potential for what appears to be an excellent and revitalizing private project, with the potential for 2,000 new people to call South Augusta home, what incentive do those people have to move to the area?” said the Riverkeeper’s Tonya Bonitatibus.
In an earlier public comment on Aurubis’ plans, the Riverkeeper highlighted the request to release what it calls “more than 30 hazardous pollutants into the air that the people of Augusta breathe.”
“The list includes things from arsenic to o-Xylene that, if permitted, would be released ‘in and around the facility,’” the Riverkeper said.
Aurubis will build its facility on 150 acres at Augusta Corporate Park.
Operations are expected to begin by the first half of 2024, and the company plans to begin hiring as soon as summer 2022. People interested in jobs with Aurubis are encouraged to visit www.aurubis.com/en/career/jobs.
Aurubis is a global provider of non-ferrous metals and one of the largest copper recyclers worldwide. The company processes complex metal concentrates, scrap metals, organic and inorganic metal-bearing recycling materials, and industrial residues into metals.
The company produces more than 1 million tons of copper cathodes annually, and from them makes a variety of products such as wire rod, continuous cast shapes, profiles and flat rolled products.
Aurubis produces a number of other metals, as well, including precious metals, selenium, lead, nickel, tin and zinc. The portfolio also includes additional products such as sulfuric acid and iron silicate.
Copyright 2021 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.