Lyon, gas plant officials to discuss settlement

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DAYTON -- Lyon County officials and representatives of Advanced Specialty Gases plan to meet Friday to discuss how to settle a dispute over last year's revocation of the company's special-use permit.

County commissioners delayed a decision last week on whether to spend $25,000 for another independent consultant to assist in the ongoing legal battle with Advanced Specialty Gases.

County Manager Stephen Snyder said he and attorney Keith Loomis plan to meet with representatives from the company's plant who want their permit reinstated.

"The board determined on Thursday it would be premature to act on the request until after the results of the negotiations are known," Snyder said Friday.

The county is appealing an Aug. 27 decision by District Court Judge David Huff, which said the county's reasons for revocation were not valid. Huff ordered the county to pursue negotiations with the plant or hold another revocation hearing.

District Attorney Leon Aberasturi says the new consultant is necessary to review testimony and evidence presented at the three-day October 2001 hearing that resulted in revocation of the special-use permit for the nitrogen trifluoride production plant. He wants the firm hired as soon as possible to give them time to review the necessary documents prior to a potential second hearing.

The county has set a second hearing date for December if the county's appeal of the judge's order fails or a negotiated settlement is not reached.

In preparation for the first hearing, the county hired SECOR International for $50,000. Aberasturi has said SECOR basically looked at the mechanical aspects of the plant's operations.

The new consultant would review employee statements and all other evidence introduced at the first hearing.

Advanced Specialty Gases has been closed since a July 2001 explosion in the distillation processing room. Hydrogen fluoride, a potentially dangerous gas, is used in the process, but was not involved in the explosion.


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