• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Zero emissions difficult to believe

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In Waste
Jul 9th, 2010
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Letter writer responds to three articles
Orangeville Citizen July 8 2010
Please accept this as my response to “Unhelpful Criticism” , “County vigilantly investigating proposal” from June 17, 2010, as well as “Sounds like a good deal” from June 24, 2010.
It is unfair of your paper to say my analysis is”unhelpful criticism”. What did the Walkerton papers say about water before people got sick and died? The point is that based on scientific articles by organizations like Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Plasma Arc Waste Incineration undermines current recycling programs, and creates toxic emissions.
1. “Gasification units emit 83% more furans and dioxins than mass burn incinerators. Dioxin is one of the most toxic substances known; there is no safe level. Dioxin is a known human carcinogen. “(U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services)
2. “Mercury emissions from gasification units are equal to emissions from mass burn incinerators. Metallic mercury exposure can cause harm to human health before symptoms arise. It can cause effects on the nervous system and the developing fetus.” (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services)
3. Compared to incinerators, gasification combustors emit 28% more nitrogen oxides. NOx contributes to smog, or ground-level ozone pollution. Human health concerns include effects on breathing and the respiratory system, damage to lung tissue, and premature death.” (N.C. Air Pollution Control Requirements, 15A NCAC 20-1104)
These toxic emissions scare me! Mayor Crewson is searching for a solution. “To ensure that the Westinghouse plasma arc gasification system is as safe for the citizens of Dufferin County as AlterNRG purports, Dufferin County Council authorized Genivar Engineering to conduct a peer review of Alter NRG technology.” Dufferin County has hired “Genivar”. ( MacViro Consulting transitioned into Genivar.) This is the same firm that worked with Simcoe County to get approvals for Dump Site 41, so the garbage could be dumped on their aquifer. Read Stephen Ogden’s article: “For Simcoe County, Genivar relationship trumps transparency”. Now I am worried that this Genivar firm is the one hired to help Dufferin County. I am finding it difficult to believe there are “0” emissions from the smoke stack.
Under “Unhelpful criticism” you stated: “As is far too often the case, such critics see no need to offer realistic alternatives to the projects they attack”. This is not true! I offered alternatives.
1. Alternative #1: Reduce, reuse and recycle prevents toxins from being released from smokestacks. —The city of Calgary has land fills that capture “methane”. Even though Westinghouse’s plasma facility is located in Calgary, Calgary does not use gasification technology. Why not? —Simcoe County is planning on increasing their diversion rate to landfills from 57% to 77%. (County taking stridese toward zero waste)
2. Alternative #2-The Transformer Station in Amaranth located near Paul Thompson’s residence has created hellish living conditions, living next to the hum of the transformer station. Mr. Thompson has been successful in getting his taxes reduced by half. My suggestion was to buy out anyone near the transformer station, so they no longer had to suffer. Then turn the area into a landfill for Shelburne.
3. Alternative #3-Arrange with local land fills to take “only Shelburne’s Garbage”, not “Deep’s Garbage”. Have Shelburne residents pay a tipping fee for this service.
4. Alternative #4- Bio – digesters change manure and human sludge into a clean bedding material for cows to lie on. Have an interested farmer set up a test facility on their farm.
5. Alternative #5-Have each area deal with their own garbage issues on their own land. Stop allowing cities to dump human sludge on our farm fields. Don’t rename human sludge “compost”. I don’t like the idea of out of sight, out of mind. Transporting garbage out of one area to another should be stopped.
6. Alternative #6-A waste water facility would not be needed, if the DEEP park was denied. In the gasification process, 3 wells are to supply water to cool the gas in the gasification chamber. The water is then polluted, and needs cleaning either locally or by being transported to a water purification facility.
7. Finally, I suggested that the Canadian Waste and Recycling Expo on November 3-4, 2010 from 10:00-4:00 at the International Centre would compare composting systems/components, Scrap Recycling, Thermal Technologies, Landfill, Transfer Stations, Recycling Equipment, Trucks, Waste Treatment and Disposal, Technology, Education, etc… I suggested that rather than rushing through with DEEP, this Expo might provide a better solution to Dufferin’s garbage needs.
Based on the above, I would like to comment on Charles Hooker’s remarks about DEEP: “Sounds like a good deal”. Your comment “DEEP will emit minimal exhaust gas” is just wrong! Also, your comment: “DEEP will produce a slag recyclable in road surfaces” is what worries me. What guarantees are there that the arsenic and cadmium will not leach out of the slag if it were used for roads and end up in groundwater? With new emerging technologies, I don’t think Dufferin should be a guinea pig, as they were with wind turbines. This is my response to “Wind Turbines are Ridiculous”.
This comment is based on six years of research on wind turbines. I can back up this claim 100%. One of my sources of information was speaking to victims before they got gag orders and are no longer allowed to talk.
Perhaps your readers could request a wind turbine forum before 410 Energy erects more wind turbines on Dufferin’s land. The size of the proposed 401 Energy turbines is 2.3MW or 3.0MW. Since the Canadian Hydro Developers turbines were GE 1.5 MW turbines, the ones proposed may be up to twice as large. Does this mean ice will be thrown twice as far? Are the setbacks twice as far? Is this only the beginning of the Feed in Tariff number of turbines?
There are 51 black dots on the 401 Energy proposals, and each of these “Participating Landowners” may be receiving more than one turbine. There are 201 red dots on the 401 Energy map. Currently, these properties are nonparticipating. However, many of them are located on Highlands owned properties. Even though I am not participating, I do not have a red dot on my property. Does this mean future phases of wind turbines?
If you spoke to the Victims, and knew the truth; you would question Health Minister Arlene King’s conclusions “No health problems” and you would support Arrran- Elderslie’s wind turbine bylaw. “The bylaw uses Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects life, liberty and security of the person, in a bid to regain some municipal control over wind farms which was stripped away by the province’s Green Energy Act.
It says Developers must provide certificates issued by Health Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and a Local First Nations Representative, confirming that the proposed wind generation facility being applied for “will benefit, or will not harm, the health, safety and wellbeing” of residents before a building permit for a turbine is issued.”
If they sign, then they will be liable when, not if, health, safety and wellbeing problems surface. Wind Developers are looking for Councils who will not support the Arran- Elderslie wind turbine bylaw. Why is our health not of concern? Don’t we deserve this by law as well? Are there any members of Council that support the Arran-Elderslie by law? I will keep this in mind at the next election.
Joan Lever Melancthon

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