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Residents have questions answered on controversial Endicott battery recycling facility project

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sungeel facility

(WBNG) -- SungEel MCC Americas answered questions submitted by residents about a proposed battery recycling facility in Endicott.

The facility has some residents concerned, a local group called "No Burn Broome" even calling the project a "battery incinerator".

SungEel MCC Americas President Danish Mir says the company is not incinerating batteries, but intends to recycle and reuse as much of the battery as possible.

"The batteries are far too valuable for us to incinerate. They are not garbage. There are vital resources that we need to extract the metals from," said Mir.

SungEel says Endicott will become the home to technology of the future, but residents are asking why Endicott was the chosen location.

"It's in the middle of New York City, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, these are very high density population areas," said Mir. "Being in the middle of that, you can access all those other locations."

However, one of the biggest concerns surrounds community health and the risks the plant could pose. Mir says there's nothing to worry about for residents living around the plant, as none of the emissions are toxic to health.

"We're not putting the community's health at risk. This is a clean process. Take the time to look at the data, take the time to look at what the industry standards are," said Mir.

When asked about the playing fields neighboring the complex, Mir says along with emissions being harmless, the emissions will not blow in the direction of the fields.

In May, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requested more information from SungEel regarding the emission of PFAS chemical compounds in lithium-ion batteries. SungEel MCC Americas says they're working with federal and state officials to develop further testing standards.

"I think we've already made a lot of progress in South Korea which we're testing for. We'll monitor PFAS in the United States and develop limits and standards," said Mir.

Mir added approximately 20 jobs will be created immediately if the facility is completed, with a possibility to add up to 100 jobs at a later time. Those jobs will include process managers, engineers, operation and maintenance technicians, and administration roles. Mir says SungEel MCC Americas is working with the New York State Department of Labor and Broome County to "attract local talent".

The joint venture plans to invest $10 million during the life of the project. An additional $1 million will be invested in site and building improvements using local labor.

The company says they're working to be as transparent as possible with the community to prevent the spread of misinformation about the project.

For more information about the facility, head over to our archives.

Katie Jones

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