New lawsuit challenges construction of PADNOS metal crusher at Howell
Livingston County Catholic Charities and the nonprofit’s owner have filed a new lawsuit against Dutch company PADNOS Iron and Metal over an auto and scrap metal shredder.
The City of Howell approved a Special Use Permit in September 2019 for the shredder capable of processing approximately 80 cars per hour at 645 Lucy Road.
Livingston County Catholic Charities and its owner, Matem LLC, located next door to the facility in Genoa Township, said noise from the facility will disrupt its operations as one of the county’s only adult child care centers. Livingston for people with dementia. The charity also offers mental health, addictions, foster care and adoption support programs.
Catholic Charities said that due to the nature of their programs, noise abatement already exists in their building. However, the agency argued in its lawsuit that increasing the noise from the shredder would be too harmful and that scrapping the metal often has other harmful effects like pollution, vibration, dust and fires. and spontaneous explosions.
“The impact of noise and vibration from the enormous automobile and scrap metal crusher would significantly disrupt these services and would be incredibly harmful and distinct,” the complaint states.
PADNOS Iron and Metal did not respond to a message left seeking comment. Ben Irwin, chief financial officer of PADNOS, previously told the Livingston Daily that “concerns are overblown” about the chipper.
“We are running a world-class operation,” he said. “We think this is an optimal site for a crusher.”
An initial complaint was dismissed in April because Livingston County Judge Suzanne Geddis said the facility had not been built and she could not rule on a possible future violation, but said that Catholic Charities could return to court if PADNOS begins construction in a manner that does not comply with Howell’s zoning ordinance.
PADNOS has begun construction and Catholic Charities and Matem said in the lawsuit that the crusher will not comply with the zoning ordinance because the structure around the crusher will not be completely enclosed because there is no roof and that air pollution can escape from the installation as a result.
Catholic Charities and Matem want a judge to issue an injunction that stops construction and requires that the chipper be enclosed in a building that has a roof, in accordance with the zoning ordinance and all other city building requirements.
Last year, PADNOS agreed to place the crusher inside a structure and pave the exterior storage areas and driving surfaces.
In February 2020, the company applied to the Howell Zoning Appeal Board for three waivers for the project. The requests were to allow the chipper to be outdoors and to allow the company to use gravel throughout the site instead of pavement. The zoning board denied all three discrepancies, so PADNOS sued in hopes of overturning the denials.
A year later, the company denied its Livingston County Circuit Court appeal, and the Howell City Council accepted the revisions.
Catholic Charities has operated from the Matem Building at 2020 E. Grand River Ave., at the corner of Grand River and Lucy Road, for over 20 years.
The agency’s executive director, Mark Robinson, said if the crusher is built, his agency will have to move.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has approved an aerial permit for the PADNOS site at Howell – with two conditions.
The company needs to test more frequently for particulates and volatile organic compounds, as well as other pollutants. Also, instead of a one-time test, PADNOS will have to test pollutants once every five years until certain conditions are met.
Sophia Lada is a journalist at the Livingston Daily. Contact her at [email protected] or 517.377.1065. Follow her on Twitter @sophia_lada.