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City board defers decision on Praxair permit


By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Praxair had appealed the city's denial of the permit last month.

The St. Louis Board of Building Appeals deferred its decision for 60 days to give Praxair, the city and residents time to agree on a new location for the company.

Board member Ralph Wafer says the deferment was a better alternative to an up or down vote.

"To grant it (the permit) continues a situation that is not a desirable one," Wafer said. "If we had made the decision to deny it, Praxair has the opportunity to appeal that to circuit court, and I think that that wasn't a real strong case.

Residents living near the plant are upset by the deferment. Jane Blackwell has lived in Lafayette Square 30 years. She's disappointed the board did not take a decisive stand.

"It is the city's primary responsibility to protect its citizens," Blackwell said. "I don't think, from what I heard from the board members, that the lives of its citizens are foremost in its mind.

Praxair spokesman Nigel Muir says the company received a letter last week from the city of St. Louis proposing a new site.

"And that was located in the Lambert Airport area, and at this time we are looking at that to decide whether it would fit the criteria we require for our operations," Muir said.


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