Editor,

We wanted to make sure residents of Salome, Wenden and La Paz County have all the correct facts regarding our economic development project and the substantive changes we have made to our plans after meeting with community leaders and opponents. Others continue to purposely make erroneous, and in some cases defamatory claims.

We have eliminated chlorine from our plans. We won’t be using hazardous materials in our process. Those were top community concerns. We listened to residents and changed our business model for the planned facility.

Many of the concerns voiced by residents about our aluminum manufacturing and recycling operation are rooted in smelting operations from decades past. Our plans are for a 21st Century investment in La Paz County. We will be using natural gas and a fluxing agent in our process. This is part of the state-of-art process we have committed to in order to keep our operation and the community safe. We are focused on clean technology, controlling emissions and advanced mitigation controls that will protect water and air quality.

These changes and environmental and land-use safeguards will be part of a binding agreement with La Paz County if our jobs-producing investment is approved.

Some vocal opponents to our project have raised concerns about salt cake that will be produced from our process. These contentions are misleading. Some are unfortunately false. Some are fueling fear in the community.

Salt cake is produced as a byproduct of the aluminum recycling process. Alliance Metals will secure the byproduct in bins, and it will be transported off site. Salt cake will not be stored at our property. In fact, salt cake is also recycled into cement, concrete and other construction materials by other recyclers.

Comparing our operations to other aluminum recycling and manufacturing operations is also faulty.  Aluminum smelters employ different safety and environmental protection practices which make each plant unique.  Our process will have state of the art emission control devices. This will allow for minimal emissions resulting in a clean and environmentally sound process.

The above is another reason our air quality permit has been granted by the state of Arizona. We will deploy baghouse infrastructure to capture, contain and control emissions. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has approved Alliance Metals air quality permits. There are several other permits of the same kind already in place in La Paz County.

Alliance Metals has committed to mitigate traffic on certain roads as we have listened to the community. Trucks coming to our proposed facility will use U.S. 60 and not Salome Road or Centennial Park Road. We have commissioned a third-party traffic study that shows between 10 and 20 trucks will come in and out of our facility each day. 

Moreover, the U.S. 60 capacity utilization is around 10 percent — including our projected traffic — so the highway is more than sufficient to accommodate the projected increase in traffic for the proposed plant.

We have also made commitments to the county regarding water and flood controls at our facility. We are undertaking extensive water studies so water pressures and well levels are confirmed for our operations as well as for fire suppression. Our facility will not open until those studies are completed. In the case of a 100-year flood, Alliance Metals will cease operations. We will also elevate materials to protect against flooding.

We were excited to see the turnout of residents at our open house on Feb. 29. I was honored to talk to residents about their concerns, some of the myths and misperceptions about our plans and to talk to supporters who see the need for new jobs and economic development in the county and McMullen Valley. I personally tried to answer everyone’s questions. If you have more questions about our plans and new changes, please email me at Loren@AllianceMetalsUSA.com.

We just want residents and community leaders to have an accurate and transparent picture of our plans and the changes we have made. Alliance Metals is committed to bringing needed jobs to Wenden and Salome. Those jobs will pay between $13.50 and $25 per hour and will also include benefits once a certain tenure level has been reached. We are also committed to operating a safe, secure and state-of-the-art facility. The changes we have made and our outreach to residents shows our commitment to the community.

Loren Barton

Senior Vice President

Alliance Metals

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