PLATTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania-based company seeks to operate an explosives-storage facility on the west side of the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.
Paramount Enterprises International received sketch-plan approval from the Town of Plattsburgh Planning Board Tuesday night. It wants to use the former warehouse on the property for unloading and storage of explosives
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The materials would then be stored in up to 13 of the 15 weapons storage bunkers on-site
Joe Walsh of Paramount Enterprises said the company, founded in 1989, is a certified explosives carrier
“We are at the top of the line in the industry,” he said.
According to the company website, Paramount operates an explosives-dedicated ocean freighter from Northern Europe to North America every six to eight weeks. That vessel can carry up to 1,000 metric tons of Class 1 explosives.
The Plattsburgh location was chosen mainly due to its proximity to Interstate 87 and the Port of Montreal Containers would be shipped by truck from Montreal to Plattsburgh.
Most of the material to be stored is expected to be TNT, Walsh said, but the company is licensed to transport other explosives and ammunition, as well.
The company uses new shipping containers for each shipment, he said, and sells the used containers for re-use
The company would provide Material Safety Data Sheets to Clinton County Emergency Services, Walsh said, and a computerized inventory would be available.
One of Paramount’s largest customers is Michigan-based TRW Automotive, which uses explosives in the manufacture of airbags. That company is in the process of doubling production, Walsh said, and needs a site for storage for just-in-time delivery of product.
Paramount presently does that work at a facility in East Camden, Ark. Plattsburgh would greatly reduce the distance explosive materials would need to be shipped before they reach the customer.
The operation would be under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That agency can inspect the facility at any time, without advance notice.
Permits are granted on a three-year basis, Walsh said.
Regulations require there be no inhabited buildings within a certain distance based on the amount of material stored. In this case, that would be just under 2,000 feet for 90,000 to 110,000 pounds if the bunkers used are adjacent to each other, he said.
Plattsburgh International Airport and Nomad Airstream are both outside that distance, Walsh said.
The company expects to have two employees in Plattsburgh to start, he said, and could add a third if needed.
Most of the work would be done between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Walsh said
The property with the bunkers and transfer building is fenced in, and two security gates would be installed, one on the road to the property and one near the office space.
The bunker doors have been removed. The new doors would feature 1/4-inch steel reinforced by wood, with two locks on each Every bunker door would be monitored when it is open.
Plans call for one or two commercial construction trailers for use as office space
Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation Director of Construction and Engineering Kristy Dantes said Paramount would buy a 22-acre flag-shaped parcel from PARC, which is where the gravel driveway and parking area for empty trucks would be located.
The other parts of the property would be leased from Clinton County, she said. Dantes said PARC gave those properties to the county because of the difficulty in selling them as it looks to go out of existence.
The proposal needs Town Planning Board approval of a detailed preliminary plan. She said they plan to seek that at the May Planning Board meeting.
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