Potomac Airgas wins zoning approval Company, 60 workers to relocate from Arbutus

July 21, 1996|By Alex Gordon | Alex Gordon,SUN STAFF

The Howard County Board of Appeals has unanimously approved a zoning petition by Potomac Airgas to relocate its main production facility from Arbutus to the Baltimore-Washington Industrial Park in Jessup, bringing its 60 workers to the county.

The Thursday night decision paves the way for the company to complete the move by next summer, said President Chuck Leggett.

Leggett also said that the company will retain its existing staff.

Potomac Airgas, a subsidiary of Airgas Inc. of Radnor, Pa., which vTC manufactures and stores gases such as acetylene and carbon dioxide for industrial and medical purposes, had received endorsement for relocation from the Howard County Planning Board earlier this month.

Leggett said the decision to relocate was prompted by the condition of the 50-year-old Arbutus facility and the need to plan for the company's future.

The Jessup site will house both manufacturing and administrative facilities.

"The industrial park met a lot of our criteria because, being next to [Interstate] 95, it allows us to go to all local and remote areas of our distribution zone," Leggett said.

"We seem to fit quite well into Howard County. Number one, it is a wonderful and strategic location to operate our business. And number two, it offers us room to expand and grow well into the next century," he said.

Two people raised objections at Thursday night's meeting, citing concerns about the possibility of gas explosions.

But experts testifying for Potomac Airgas insisted that the non-toxic gas was safe. Exposure to a direct flame, they said, is the only method by which the gas could explode.

Pub Date: 7/21/96

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