An injection molder is proceeding with plans to build its first U.S. plant, despite objections raised by environmental advocates.
The Industrial Development Agency of Lockport, N.Y., approved the request from SRI CV Plastics Inc. of Perundurai, India, to build a food package-making plant in 2024. The project, expected to cost $3.34 million, would create 20 full-time and five part-time jobs within two years of launching operations.
At an Oct. 12 meeting with one member absent, agency directors voted 4 to 2 to approve an inducement resolution granting tax breaks and other incentives for the proposed 13,870-square-foot plant.
Thomas Sy, IDA administrative director, said the agency now will begin the process of selling the company 2 acres in the IDA Industrial Park for the facility.
"It will probably be two months before we process the land sale and the [tax] agreement," he said Oct. 12 by phone.
SRI will have to comply with local and state requirements and take its proposal before the Lockport Planning Board.
"We're probably looking at nothing but attorney action … until spring," he added.
What first raised the ire of environmentalists was the company's original plan to eventually add PVC pipe manufacturing in a second phase of development. SRI requested $600,000 in state and local funding to build the plant.
Numerous environmental groups sent letters of protest to the agency because of risks associated with PVC ingredient vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen.
The company agreed to forego the controversial PVC pipe plan and cut its request for financial aid in half.
Then, however, the focus of controversy became the proposal to produce disposable food containers, packaging and utensils using various plastics, including polyethylene, polypropylene, recycled plastics and polystyrene.
In a Sept. 13 letter to the IDA board, 43 environmental groups urged Lockport not to approve funding for the facility.
"Public dollars should not be used to subsidize a private company that will profit from making single-use food packaging and utensils," the letter said.
"The state banned polystyrene takeout containers in 2022, yet this company intends to produce polystyrene food packaging in New York?"
Opponents also expressed concern about the possibility of resin pellets contaminating the area, despite reassurances from the company.
The groups behind the letter include Beyond Plastics, Natural Resources Defense Council, Last Plastic Straw, Veterans for Climate Justice and dozens more.