The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Thursday, July 19, 2001

PACRO set to take flourine elsewhere if current talks fail
A committee has made it a stipulation that any recycler create jobs in Paducah, a sticking point in talks with ToxCo.

By Joe Walker

Economic development officials say they will approach a second group of firms if talks are unfruitful with a company that wants to recycle fluorine at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The facilities reuse committee of the Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization (PACRO) has met several times with California-based ToxCo, and has another meeting set for Aug. 9 in Paducah, said Henry Hodges, committee chairman. Because of confidentiality agreements, he would not discuss specifics, but said the committee has not changed its stance that ToxCo must create jobs locally if it is hired.

In giving a report Wednesday during PACRO's monthly meeting, Hodges did not indicate if ToxCo had changed its position. He said earlier that the company wanted to buy the fluorine for recycling elsewhere, rather than build a conversion facility at the Paducah plant.

Depending on results of the next meeting with ToxCo, the committee may seek negotiations with another group of firms regarding fluorine recycling, he said, without naming the companies.

"I am prepared to deal beyond that meeting," he said in an interview. "But we're hoping for the very best (with ToxCo)."

Hodges said the committee will hold a teleconference Monday with officials of Chemical Vapor Deposition Manufacturing (CVD), a Canadian firm interested in recycling contaminated scrap metal at the plant. Since the committee began negotiations with the firm several months ago, continued testing has produced "very positive results" toward CVD's ability to convert the metal at the plant, he said.

"What we'll be looking for over the next 30 to 60 days is to get a clear proposal from CVD, negotiated down so that we can bring it back to this committee (PACRO) and start working it through public channels," Hodges said.

CVD is blocked by a temporary U.S. Department of Energy ban on selling radioactively contaminated scrap metal at any of its plants because of safety concerns. Hodges said his committee regularly speaks with DOE officials to see if and when the ban will be lifted.