Controversy in Marston, MO over possible new asphalt plant - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Controversy in Marston, MO over possible new asphalt plant

MARSTON, MO (KFVS) - Controversy is heating up over the possibility of a temporary asphalt plant coming to Marston, Missouri.

Some residents are calling it a health issue because of the fumes and dust, but not everyone agrees.

City leaders say the temporary asphalt plant would go just on the west side of Interstate 55. While some people in town say it could bring needed jobs, others say it's just not worth it.

"One-hundred-and-ninety-four signatures we have [on the petition] against this plant so far,” Alderwoman Julie Brock said.

A town of only 500 people, many Marston residents are coming out in full force.

"This is not anything against the asphalt plant itself, other than our health," Brock said.

Brock, along with other residents, say they're concerned about breathing in the chemicals and fumes from the asphalt plant.

"Why would you want to put something like that in the middle of a residential area?" Another resident said.

The plant would go right behind Jerry's Cafe and gas station in a four to five acre space. It would be a temporary plant, while crews work to resurface roads in the area.

The owner of the land said she thinks of the temporary plant as an asset, potentially giving the people of Marston jobs. However, with fumes from plants, gins, and other industry already in the area, other residents say this new plant would only add more fuel to the fire.

"The chemicals are already killing us,” Madonna Slaughter said.

"The smell will get in our homes, in our interiors. And a lot of people are on oxygen now,” Brock said.

According to research published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “known carcinogens have been found in asphalt fumes generated at worksites.” However, the National Asphalt Pavement Association claims “there is no evidence that the very low levels of emissions from an asphalt mixing facility pose health risks to humans.”

Those who oppose the plant in Marston say they don't want to find out what more damage the chemicals in the air can do.

"We are not quitters and we will fight you know, we will fight,” Brock said.

The Marston Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to stop the plant from coming in, but then a judge ruled in favor of the plant. The final decision has yet to be made. There is a meeting with the Department of Natural Resources scheduled for June 2.

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