A Denver developer said Thursday he plans to make Green River in Carbon County the site of a hazardous-waste incinerator project that Grand County voters rejected this week.
Dean Norris, president of CoWest Incineration Corp., said in a telephone interview that voters in Moab made a mistake voting to keep hazardous-waste incinerators out of Grand County.Norris said he now intends to take his multimillion-dollar project to Green River, where city officials have repeatedly indicated interest in the development.
"We are looking at Green River. We have been for about a year. That ground is zoned, and it's ready to go, so we're going to proceed with it," Norris said.
CoWest first proposed building a commercial hazardous-waste incinerator 45 miles northeast of Moab on 80 acres in Cisco the company bought from the county.
CoWest now has its eye on a 200-acre parcel in eastern Green River, Norris said. Green River is about 30 miles north of Cisco and 45 miles from Moab.
During the past year, a New York energy company joined CoWest in the venture, and an engineering firm in Salt Lake City designed plans for the proposed four-unit incinerator.
Catalyst Waste-to-Energy of New York and El Dorado Engineering of Salt Lake are still involved in the project, Norris said.
The company has yet to file applications for construction permits from the state Air Quality and Solid & Hazardous-Waste bureaus.
Application was delayed while CoWest waited for Grand County to create zoning to accommodate heavy industry and identify the Cisco area as the county's industrial zone. The county at one point denied CoWest a rezoning of its Cisco property from agricultural to heavy industrial, then approved the rezoning on second application.
Opponents of the project, however, succeeded in winning voter approval of a referendum repealing zoning for incinerators in Tuesday's election. Two incumbent county commissioners who had supported the incinerator were also ousted.
Norris said the defeat was not surprising, since the company "didn't make any concerted effort" to influence the election. But he was disturbed by defeat of the commissioners and what he perceived to be "lies, innuendoes and flat misinformation" that forced his project out.