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Archive for Thursday, October 6, 2005

Co-op’s neighbors bothered by dust

October 6, 2005

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The rusty red corn dust that gathers in piles around a warehouse in East Lawrence is a growing nuisance, workers there say.

"It's like a snowstorm," said Robert "Flood" Wiseman, a warehouse supervisor at AB Coker Co., 1923 Moodie Drive, just north of the South Lawrence Co-op.

Wiseman said the dust has gummed up computers and car engines at the warehouse.

"I'm tired of breathing it, tired of getting it in my hair," he said.

Rob Smith, an assistant manager at the co-op, said the elevator isn't producing any more dust than it ever has. A dust control system takes care of most of the problem, he said, but it's inevitable that some will get out and float downwind.


AB Coker co. supervisor Robert "Flood" Wiseman cleans out corn dust from the intakes of his car. The dust comes from a nearby grain elevator, and Wiseman says it has been especially bad in the past months.

AB Coker co. supervisor Robert "Flood" Wiseman cleans out corn dust from the intakes of his car. The dust comes from a nearby grain elevator, and Wiseman says it has been especially bad in the past months.

"It's a nuisance, but that's nature for you," Smith said.

In mostly rural Kansas, grain dust in the neighborhood of an elevator might seem to be a fact of daily life. But in urbanizing areas such as Lawrence, a little bit of nature can raise big concerns.

Wiseman said he complained Wednesday, to little effect, to county health authorities, asking them to investigate the situation. But a spokeswoman for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department told the Journal-World that such complaints should be directed to state officials.


Robert Wiseman, a supervisor at AB Coker Co., sweeps up corn dust that blows into the warehouse from a nearby grain elevator. Wiseman says that he hasn't seen the dust this bad in the six years that he has worked for AB Coker. Wiseman and his co-workers are sick of the dust, which clogs the air filters in their cars and even causes problems with the company's computers.

Robert Wiseman, a supervisor at AB Coker Co., sweeps up corn dust that blows into the warehouse from a nearby grain elevator. Wiseman says that he hasn't seen the dust this bad in the six years that he has worked for AB Coker. Wiseman and his co-workers are sick of the dust, which clogs the air filters in their cars and even causes problems with the company's computers.

Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, did not know late Wednesday afternoon whether her office had received any complaints about the matter.

She said that elevators must be licensed for dust emissions; most elevators are inspected every one to five years, depending on its size.

Watson did not immediately know the results of any inspections at the South Lawrence Co-op. The agency does investigate complaints from the public, she said.

Smith said the dust was the residue of corn cobs. Such dust has been shown in studies to produce allergic reactions in humans.

Wiseman said he has been working next door to the elevator for six years, and that the corn dust had increased significantly in recent months. He said he had complained to elevator officials, to no avail.

"This stuff gets in our cars, it blankets the dock area for shipping and receiving," he said. "It banks like snow around the building."

Smith said the elevator had seen increased activity in recent days from the corn harvest - 40,000 bushels in three days - but that the dust control system seemed to be working.

He added, "I've been around with that stuff in the air a big chunk of my life, and it ain't hurting me."

Comments

macon47 8 years, 6 months ago

no wonder the crap is in his hair, what is he .....a musician, or an artist? get a hair cut and take a bath

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countrygirl 8 years, 6 months ago

And just what do you think the backbone of the Kansas economy is? Agriculture! If you are going to have a business near an elevator, you are going to have dust. Perhaps they should have looked into that a little closer before deciding on their location. Sophisicated Lawrence needs to remember where it's roots are.

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glockenspiel 8 years, 6 months ago

In mostly rural Kansas, grain dust in the neighborhood of an elevator might seem to be a fact of daily life. But in urbanizing areas such as Lawrence, a little bit of nature can raise big concerns

Paraphrased....

In most rural Kansas, dust in the neiborhood is a fact of life, but people in more sophisticated areas like Lawrence, shouldn't have to deal with it.

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BOE 8 years, 6 months ago

The bee's wings are gumming up car engines? LOL

Of course it makes sense that a major cigarette distributor would be concerned about pollution.

macon47 has hit on a good idea.

They can just roll it up and sell it.

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neopolss 8 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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trinity 8 years, 6 months ago

"But in urbanizing areas such as Lawrence, a little bit of nature can raise big concerns."

i think the key here is urbanizING-as in, the d@mn Co-Op was there first! so yes i agree-get over it!

nothin' worse than city folk who encroach on country ways of life&then b!tch and moan about it.

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macon47 8 years, 6 months ago

the city commissioners should ban corn dust, except of course unless you want to smoke it.

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sharron5rs 8 years, 6 months ago

At least Corn Season is only for a short time. How long has the co-op been there, verses how long has Mr. Wiseman been working there? How do you think the corn gets from the field to your dinner plate, it has to begin to be processed somewhere. Get a mask and a can of air, and get over it.

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floodboy 8 years, 6 months ago

That is NOT me! Anyhow, I bet there are people who are so self centered that even living in a remote area of the gunnison national forest would be bad.....!?!??!

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tell_it_like_it_is 8 years, 6 months ago

Geez. City people. Get over it or move out of Kansas.

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