Brad Poiriez, air pollution control officer, said that the facility review under the California Environmental Quality Act is required in order for Simbol Materials to receive an air permit from the county APCD.
The proposed facility, according to a public notice from the air pollution control district, would convert lithium chloride to lithium carbonate, a process which has the potential to emit hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and sodium hydroxide into the air.
Minerals that can be marketed would be extracted from brine taken from one of the Hudson Ranch geothermal plants before it is pumped back into the earth’s core, Villa explained.
Armando Villa, director of the Imperial County Planning Department, said that the approval process of the proposed 10 to 20 acre facility at 1536 Jones St. here is still in its initial stages.
A public hearing on the project will be scheduled for the fall or early next year, Villa said. An environmental impact report on the proposed facility could take 30 weeks to prepare, he said.
“We need to environmentally assess it,” Villa said.
The APCD reported that the project that has been reviewed and that “it is expected to operate in compliance with the rules and regulations of the air district.”
“The project is not expected to pose a significant health threat to the community,” the notice says.
Comments or questions about the project can be submitted to APC engineer Thomas Brinkerhoff at 760-482-4606, the notice says. All comments would be reviewed before a final decision is reached, the notice says.
Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at email@example.com