City of Knox not closing MPI
One of the hot topics of discussion in the community the past few days is the closing of MPI. Knox Mayor Rick Chambers heard about the rumor and decided to take steps to ease people’s minds.
“In an effort to dispel rumors that I am going to close MPI, let me say this is completely false. The City of Knox is in the business of expanding industry, not closing it,” Chambers said.
Chambers said that while there is absolutely no truth in the rumor that the city will be shutting down the automotive parts factory, which is located on Pacific Avenue in Knox, there were some issues involving the plant which are probably responsible for the false stories circulating across the county.
“While there have been issues with the waste water plant being able to process the discharge from MPI, both sides are working to find a solution. At this time, we have had to reduce the amount that they are allowed to discharge,” he said.
Chambers said the problem is the increase in waste due to the company’s growth.
“Our treatment plant just isn’t big enough to handle the volume of detergents that MPI is expelling,” he said.
Chambers said the Knox-based company did not hesitate to take action once they were notified there was an issue with the waste being pumped out of their facility.
“Once MPI was aware of the situation, they immediately began taking steps to bring their waste within compliance. And that’s not saying they were not within their right to pump out the amount and types of waste that they were. They are licensed through IDEM to release soapy water. The problem was our UV lights could not penetrate through such a large, dense volume, which was preventing our treatment plant from breaking down bacteria. When that happens, our plant is out of compliance,” Chambers said.
Waste water removal has cost MPI some additional expense — a situation Chambers views as regrettable, but unfortunately unavoidable.
“While I am sympathetic to the extra expense MPI has incurred due to having waste water hauled out of their plant, I have to look at the whole picture and know that our water source is safe for the public and that we are in compliance with state codes so that the city is not fined,” he said.
Chambers is confident the situation will soon be resolved. But until then, it’s still business as usual at MPI.
“The main thing I’d like to tell people is MPI is not being shut down by this city. We had an issue, and both sides are working to resolve it. MPI is a valuable and much needed business in the community. And there was never a question as to whether or not it would continue to operate,” he said.