Xinyi Canada aims to bring a new glass plant to the Guelph and Eramosa area in Ontario, Canada, but not everyone thinks it’s a good idea. In fact, some residents have expressed their concerns about the new glass plant with letters previously sent to an online news source, Guelph Today. Main concerns about the new plant focus on the daily amount of water use expected, cross contamination between water and glass and whether the structure abides by the property zoning bylaws.

Xinyi Glass is a manufacturer that specializes in float, automotive, architectural and solar glass production. The company plans for the facility to span across 2 million square feet. The corporation believes the project will help stimulate both towns’ economies by making more local jobs available. But one councilor is trying to get the plant ideas rejected.

David Wolk, a local councilmember, said in a Guelph Today article, that the proposed float glass facility does not conform to the township’s current zoning bylaw. The bylaw states the zoned property is for rural industrial use. That means the property’s uses “shall be dry uses,” which may affect the amount of water the new facility aims to use.

“I realize the term ‘dry’ has any number of interpretations, but you can only stretch it so far before ‘dry’ becomes ‘wet’,” said Wolk. He expects the topic will be discussed at the next council meeting later this month.

Another concern is the possibility of cross contamination within the glass plant. Some are claiming small pieces of glass and hazardous materials could end up in the water, while others are focused on the amount of water expected to be used.

“The daily average water taking for the facility will be less than 1.6 million liters,” said Xinyi president Tommy Wong in a letter to Guelph Today.

Wong also addressed the cross contamination issue, where some felt harmful chemicals from the glass might contaminate the water being used.

“The cooling water will have no direct contact with the float glass products. The processed water will not be contaminated with glass pieces or any harmful chemicals,” said Wong.

The glass plant debate will continue during the next council meeting, set for July 16, 2018.