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Plan Commission votes “no” on allowing Chemworks in Menomonee Falls

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MENOMONEE FALLS (WITI) -- On Wednesday night, April 9th, the Village of Menomonee Falls' Plan Commission voted "no" on allowing Chemworks to move in.

The Village of Menomonee Falls Plan Commission has the final say in this case. The Plan Commission says safety and odor concerns led to the decision.

Advanced Waste Services -- Chemworks' parent company had already been issued an occupancy permit for the use of the site, located on Lilly Road. That permit was granted in September of 2013.

However, hundreds of Menomonee Falls residents said they don't want the company moving in.

Chemworks is a waste water treatment facility that has operated out of the Miller Valley in Milwaukee. The company had numerous odor complaints and environmental fines when they were located there.

Advanced Waste Services officials have claimed those problems would be a thing of the past.

In March, hundreds showed up at Ben Franklin Elementary School to voice their objections to the company moving in.

One week before, Advanced Waste Services officials made their case to the Plan Commission.

The Village of Menomonee Falls Plan Commission had the task of determining whether zoning on the land in Menomonee Falls is a match for what Advanced Waste Services/Chemworks wants to use it for.

Advanced Waste Services has filed a Notice of Claim against the Village of Menomonee Falls asserts, among other things, that the Village of Menomonee Falls’ referral of the AWS occupancy permit to its Plan Commission is illegal, is a violation of the company’s constitutional rights and is not in compliance with Village ordinances.

Among other relief, the claim seeks damages against the Village in excess of $2 million.

After Wednesday's decision, Advanced Waste Services' president declined to speak with FOX6 News. A company spokesperson, however, read a written statement that said the company is exploring its options.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this story.


  • Nancy

    Its a shame Menomonee Falls people succumbed to panic, didn’t do their research and killed a lot of jobs. If you don’t want industry near you, don’t build next to an industrial park. I wish the company well in their lawsuit.

  • Brian

    It is only a loss of jobs by a company declared a nuisance by Milwaukee. They brought it on themselves.
    Nothing like Hazmat event a couple days before claiming to be safe.

  • Nancy

    Gee Brian, I guess it’s ok for people to lose jobs as long as it’s not you. I live near the plant. I smell the stink from Miller all the time, but no one complains about them because they make beer.

  • Jason

    I used to work for AWS. Great company, great morals and due a great service for local industry. Industry needs people like AWS to treat the contaminants from manufacturing. No AWS, no industry, no jobs. I can understand the people’s concern but AWS’s past issues were more a product of an archaic sewer system in Milwaukee and the politics of having “waste” in your name. Makes you a target, often unfairly. There would have been no odor issues in MF due to it being a closed sewer system. AWS will survive, unfortunately MF is going to lose the job growth and millions in future tax revenue. AWS is a very wealthy and profitable company.

  • Former Falls resident

    I have a family member who works for AWS and I asked if they would be worried if the Chemworks moved next door to them. They said they would have no problem with it. The people in Menomonee Falls did not do their homework. They saw the word chemical and immediately thought bad. The citizens of Menomonee Falls were invited to come and see for themselves what the company does. How many of them actually did? No, they would rather decide on fear and rumors instead of fact. Yes, there are problems in the current location. But comparing an aging plant and open sewer system shared with Miller to a state of the art plant with a closed sewer system is like comparing apples and oranges. If Chemworks had been allowed to move in, the neighbors probably would never have even realized that they were there. Instead, new jobs and a large amount of tax revenue has been lost. Not to mention the pending lawsuit.The funny thing is, the children in Menomonee Falls are probably being harmed more by the chemicals that they put on their lawns and the chemicals in their plastic cups than anything Chemworks could have done. I grew up in Menomonee Falls and am so glad I left and never looked back.

  • Falls resident

    It’s not the type of business people are afraid of. It’s the company that’s tuning it. If Chemworks had a clean history no one would have cared about them coming in. Instead you have a company that’s being kicked out of Milwaukee for not following rules, multiple lawsuits against the company for hazardous dumping, and a company pres. who’s been federally indicted for crimes against the environment. You wonder why people don’t believe them when they say their going to do things right this time. Not to mention they were either legally working on new facility without permits.

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