The Stories Behind The Story: VW Needs No Additional Permit For Expansion - And Response

Thursday, June 19, 2014

On  May 15 an official announcement was made by Bob Colby of the Air Pollution Control Bureau. Colby stated that VW could construct a plant expansion  without obtaining an additional air pollution control permit.  It is encouraging to know VW will not have to obtain another air permit if VW elects to add to the present plant. Bob’s modesty prevented him from telling this underlying story. 

During the permitting process Bob discussed with VW officials the possibility of obtaining, at the beginning, a permit that would provide for future increases in production. Now, VW  benefits. It does not have to follow the route of  application; processing; draft-permit; public-comment; public-hearing; possibly a revision to produce the final permit. That has now already been done.

Further, concerning Bob Colby and VW, there is this little-known episode that occurred during VW’s information gathering for making the decision on whether Chattanooga would get the plant that we now have. 

At an early meeting between VW and officials of local government, Bob was asked for an estimate of the time lapse from the Bureau’s receipt of the application for permit to issuance of the permit. Colby gave his estimate of 90 days.

An attorney for VW who specializes in permits for automobile assembly plants informed Mr. Colby, “I’ve been in this business for three decades, and  I’ve never seen a permit come out that quickly. 

Bob responded, “I’ll stand by answer of 90 days.” 

The application was received by the Bureau August 8, 2008. The permit was issued Oct, 10, 2008.

There is an underlying story, too, on how that was accomplished. 

As VW was pre-planning, so was Colby. In anticipation such questions from VW Bob Colby was assembling his facts. He met with EPA Region 4 officials in Atlanta. He returned to Chattanooga armed with a recent application for air permit for an automobile plant. He had selected team of engineers to work on the permit if VW selected Chattanooga as the plant site. Cynthia McDaniel, an outstanding engineer at the Bureau was team leader. Often, preparation means  the difference between victory and defeat. 

Jody Baker 

* * * 

Could I have one of those permits as well? My car failed emissions due to a faulty gas cap.  

Michael Burns


Rep. John Deffenbaugh: Week 11 House Of Representatives Report

The Georgia General Assembly reconvened under the Gold Dome on Monday, March 20 for day 36 of the 2017 legislative session. Sine die is less than a week away, and the House had another busy week of reviewing legislation in committee hearings, voting on bills and resolutions on the House floor and giving final passage to several bills that will now be considered by Governor Deal. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Ballooniac’ Fined $25K

The Calgary Stampede is one of the biggest events in Canada and every year it draws well over 1.5 million people to one of the most beautiful places in the world. It started in 1912 as a big rodeo event and today it lasts 10 straight days. A highlight is the chuck-wagon races, where $4 million of advertisements are sold on the wagon’s canvas covers and there are pancake breakfasts ... (click for more)

Robert Driver Jr. Shot At Bar Near Hamilton Place On Sunday Night

A man was shot at a bar near Hamilton Place Mall on Sunday night. At approximately  9:51 p.m.,  Chattanooga Police officers responded to the report of a person shot in the parking lot of Bar Louie located at 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd.   Responding officers located 34-year-old Robert Driver Jr. suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to a local ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In 3-Car Accident In Dalton On Saturday

There was a fatal three-vehicle crash on the South Bypass in Dalton just south of Sawgrass Drive  on Saturday  at approximately  4:30 pm . The crash happened when the driver of a black Ford Mustang traveling southbound on the bypass for some reason left its lane of travel and crossed over the center line and hit a 2004 Chevy Silverado truck head on. ... (click for more)

Mocs Finish Third At Furman Intercollegiate

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team finished tied for third at the Furman Intercollegiate. They did so behind senior Wes Gosselin’s runner-up performance.   Gosselin shot a career-best 10-under 206. It’s the eighth time a Moc has finished 10-under or better, the first since Stephan Jaeger’s school-record 203 (-13) winning the 2012 NCAA Bowling Green Regional   ... (click for more)

DecoTurf Tennis: Walton Edges Baylor Gilrls, 4-3 for A Division Title

Top-seeded Walton (Ga.) defeated No.2 Baylor, 4-3, in the finals of the Girls A Division Saturday. Highlighted by Liz Norman’s (Walton) 6-1, 6-0 triumph against Baylor’s Drew Haskins at No.1 singles, Walton also picked up wins from No.4 Samantha Buyckx and No.5 Grace Gaskins, plus the doubles point to secure the win. Walton won Decoturf in 2015 and lost to Baylor last ... (click for more)