The final board agenda has not been released, but the supervisors will be expected to take a straw vote in the absence of 1st District Supervisor Valerie Brown, who voted against the project in June.

According to the project?s spokesperson, Aimi Dutra, the project has been modified in the following ways:

? Peak production has been decreased from 400 to 300 tons per hour to reduce air emissions, which have been recalculated by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to show no significant environmental risk;

? There will be no crushing and stockpiling of recycled asphalt on the site, which will reduce the total amount of materials handled at the site to 554,000 from 664,000 tons, which will reduce both traffic and noise. Recycled materials will be prepared elsewhere and trucked into the site;

? Silos for the plant will be reduced from 76 feet to 62 feet by reducing the silo storage capacity from two 200-ton silos to two 100-ton silos. This is designed to reduce short- and long-term air emissions. Tall trees will be planted alongside the silos to reduce visibility.

Dutra said that these changes will become mandatory conditions of approval if approved at the December hearing.

Opponents have cited air pollution, noise, traffic, visibility and proximity to Shollenberger Park and bird sanctuaries/nesting grounds as reasons to deny the application. Dutra says a Petaluma plant is necessary to provide low-cost asphalt to area projects with minimum transportation.

In the June 9 vote, 5th District Supervisor Efren Carrillo changed his prior ?no? vote to allow Dutra to come back with this modified plan. Supervisors Mike Kerns and Mike Kelley have been supporters, while supervisors Shirlee Zane and Valerie Brown have voted against it.

(Contact Jay Gamel at argus@arguscourier.com)