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Durham incinerator approved by Province

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In Waste
Nov 20th, 2010
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Strict conditions imposed on Courtice facility
By Keith Gilligan Durham Region.com Nov 19, 2010
DURHAM — The provincial Environment Ministry has approved the energy-from-waste facility for Durham and York regions.

The MOE made the announcement Friday afternoon, saying the Province has “set strict conditions” on the approval of the incinerator, which will be built on Osbourne Road in Clarington.
The conditions include stringent air emissions requirements “that are among the toughest in the world”, emissions monitoring and reporting, daily inspections of the site, acceptance of waste only if it can’t be recycled and involvement of a public advisory committee.
The press release didn’t set out details such as what the daily inspections would cover or what the emissions monitoring goals would be.
“It is up to Durham and York Regions to decide whether to go ahead with the project,” the press release notes.
Should the regions proceed, the facility, with a price tag of about $272 million, along with annual operating costs of about $14 million, would burn 140,000 tonnes of garbage. It could be expanded to 400,000 tonnes in the future.
Durham Council approved going forward with the incinerator last June. Covanta Energy was selected as the company that would design, build and operate the facility.
With MOE approval, it’s now up to Durham Regional Chairman Roger Anderson as to whether he signs the contract. He was given signing authority by the previous Regional Council to do so.
One newly-elected councillor, Shaun Collier of Ajax, wants Mr. Anderson to hold off on signing the contract.
In a letter to Mr. Anderson, Mr. Collier wrote, “The 16 new members of Council deserve the right to review and comment on such an important contract prior to approval. I respectfully request that … you do not sign off and enter into the agreement with Covanta until such times as the new Council can review and vote on the agreement.”
The new Regional Council will be sworn in on Dec. 8. However, no business will be conducted at the first meeting, aside from appointing councillors to various committees. The first council meeting that will conduct business is Dec. 22.
What happens next has some councillors guessing.
“This is a contract worth a quarter of a billion dollars and it’s absolutely essential it should come back to the new council to establish if it’s a good deal,” says Ajax Mayor Steve Parish. “People have a right to see it. It’s their money and the future of their waste management for the next 25 years.”
Mr. Anderson, a strong proponent of the project, hasn’t said he’ll bring the agreement back to council, which indicates he probably won’t, says Mayor Parish.
Mr. Anderson could not be reached for comment.
The previous council only saw the contract with Covanta in broad terms before staff negotiated the deal. Councillors gave Mr. Anderson the authority to sign off on it once the Province approves the environmental assessment.
The state-of-the-art incinerator, which will create power in the burning process, will be built using federal gas-tax funding and with York Region as a 20-per cent partner.
Mr. Anderson has every reason to sign off on the agreement with Covanta. If Regional Council has a chance to weigh in, members could ask for changes in the contract or reject it outright, killing the deal. In an extreme-case scenario, council could pay whatever penalties were imposed and look at other technologies for managing trash, effectively sending the proposed plant up in smoke.
But Mr. Anderson could get burned if he gives the go-ahead himself because council’s first order of business will be to re-elect or replace him as chairman. The incinerator was a big issue in October’s municipal election and many of the 16 new faces on the council oppose construction of the facility. In an online poll, about half of the 28 regional councillors said they wanted to stop it.
“They might have a hard time supporting him for re-election,” says Clarington’s incoming mayor, Adrian Foster. “The ramifications would be huge if Roger signs off on the contract and councillors, in reviewing the business case, decide it’s not in the best interests of taxpayers.”
files from Torstar news services

Province approves controversial Clarington incinerator
Daniela Germano Toronto Star November 19 2010
The province’s Environment Ministry has issued strict conditions on the approval of a controversial incinerator to be built in Clarington.
The $260-million project could be the GTA’s first garbage incinerator in 20 years if Durham Chair, Roger Anderson, signs a building contract with Covanta Energy Corp.
Anderson has signing authority on the contract and opponents of the much-debated plant fear he will use it before the new council convenes in December to look over the details.
The Environment Ministry approved the project based on strict requirements such as daily inspections of the site, that waste only be accepted if it cannot be recycled and that a public advisory committee needs to be established for community involvement.

Conditional green light for incinerator
Clarington.com November 19 2010
The controversial Clarington incinerator project has been given a conditional green light by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Proposed by Durham and York Regions, the facility was designed to be a local solution to manage municipal waste that cannot be reused or recycled, while generating power at the same time. The proposed incinerator site is in Courtice.
The province has set strict conditions on the approval of the controversial Durham and York energy-from-waste facility.
The province’s conditions on the facility include:
• Stringent air emission requirements that the province says are among the toughest in the world.
• Emissions monitoring and reporting.
• Daily inspections of the site.
• Waste must only be accepted if it cannot be recycled so that diversion remains the first choice.
• A public advisory committee so that the community continues to be involved in the project.
The decision and conditions are based on an extensive review by Ministry of the Environment experts and other government agencies.
According to the province, it is up to Durham and York Regions to decide whether to go ahead with the project.

EA Approved York-Durham Energy-from-Waste Facility
Renew Canada 19 November 2010
“For too long, we have trucked our garbage hundreds of kilometres to someone else’s backyard. This is not a sustainable solution,” said Cliff Curtis, Durham Region commissioner of works, in a release today.
After over five years of consultations and research, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has approved the  Durham/York Residual Waste Study Environmental Assessment (EA). ReNew Canada has been following this story since editor, Mira Shenker, joined Durham Region staff on a business mission to the Netherlands, where energy-from-waste (EFW) facilities were toured.
“This energy-from-waste facility will release less greenhouse gas over its lifetime than our current long-haul disposal practice. The MOE has imposed extremely strict limits on our air emissions, but we can achieve them. This demonstrates the EFW facility will operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” said Curtis.
Regional chair and CEO Roger Anderson said in a release, “After carefully examining the options, consulting with the public and various experts, we determined an EFW facility was the most reasonable method to deal with residual waste. With the approval of the EA, the province has recognized the need for this facility and that we are committed to the protection of human health and the environment. The EA acknowledges that our EFW is a viable option for the future of waste management in Ontario.
Construction is expected to start in 2011, with a target operation date of 2014. The EFW facility will be located in the Municipality of Clarington on a 12-hectare parcel, north of the Courtice Water Pollution Control Plant, in The Regional Municipality of Durham.
“It is quite appropriate that such a modern approach to waste management will be built in the heart of Clarington’s Energy Business Park,” said regional councillor, Charlie Trim, chair of the Durham Region Works Committee. “The Energy Park will be a high-tech centre of innovation, fundamental to creating a thriving, knowledge-based economy in Clarington.”The EFW will use a thermal mass burn technology, which means that municipal solid waste is fed into a furnace where it is burned at very high temperatures. The waste arriving at the EFW facility will have minimal metal content, due to the various curbside and waste management facility diversion programs offered by the Regions; in addition, any re sidual metals will be removed from the ash for recycling. The ash is then shipped to landfill or reused in product manufacture. Air emissions will be subject to some of the most stringent levels in North America and the A-7 guideline which will be administered by the MOE.
The EFW process also includes production of high-pressure steam, which is fed through a turbine generator that produces electricity and/or hot water energy that can be used for district heating in the future. In broad terms, the electricity produced by the facility, when operating at design capacity of 140,000 tonnes per year, is sufficient to power about 10,000 homes, while the district heating produced could heat the equivalent of 2,200 homes.
Covanta Energy Corporation is the technology vendor on this project–chosen back in 2009.

 

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