Menomonee Falls residents upset Chemworks could be moving in

MENOMONEE FALLS (WITI) — The Chemworks company works to clean industrial waste — dumping the leftover smelly water back into the sewer system. The company is looking to move into Menomonee Falls — and residents there are not happy about it.

Families who live in Menomonee Falls say it’s a great place to raise a family — with good businesses and affordable homes.

Kristen Sobotka was one of the first to move into a subdivision near where Chemworks could be moving.

“One of the things about Menomonee Falls is it is a nice, smaller community,” Sobotka said.

On a 20-acre site near the subdivision, Chemworks, an industrial water treatment facility plans to build a new plant.

“We didn’t know that was a heavy industrial zone right across the street from us — let alone a place where a chemical water treatment place would be,” Rachel Betterman said.

The company currently occupies buildings near Miller Valley in Milwaukee, and have a history there.

“For the last 10 years, from what I can find, they have been dumping things in the water,” Betterman said.

Chemworks has made headlines in the past for environmental fines and foul odors escaping the plant.

“I’m concerned about my children, our health, our community,” Betterman said.

The company says with the new location, they’ll be able to solve old issues.

In a statement, the company writes: “Our new location in the Manhardt Drive Industrial Park is served by a modern sanitary sewer system, equipped with gas traps and completely separate from any storm drain systems. We will also install a Bio Filter at this plant to scrub the air. The distance to the nearest residence from our processing building is more than 1,000 feet.”

Homeowners aren’t convinced, and they plan to fight their new neighbor. How, is yet to be determine.

“How are we supposed to trust a company that has violation after violation. As a person, I don’t know what I am going to do, but I am going to do everything that I can,” Sobotka said.

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2 comments

  • Catrina

    Do all the homework you want. Doesn’t help! These types of companies can handle the fines and payoff govt to keep themselves in business. Take a look at Liquid Waste company in Dodge Co…also research the tire fire in Shields WI……DNR can only do so much. So doing your homework means nothing.

  • Jenny

    To the first commenter, Fantasia – even if I know that an area is zoned for heavy industrial when I move, that does not mean that I should sit back and watch as a serial violator of environmental regulations moves in. ChemWorks has shown by their past history, that they would rather pollute and pay fines than to truly make an effort to lessen the environmental impact their company has. This company should be welcome NOWHERE until they develop better and more reliable filters for waste they discharge into sewer systems. This is not about wanting heavy industrial zoning to go away, it’s about making sure that the Village is giving permits to companies that are not harming the environment in the way ChemWorks is.

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