A proposed waste-to-energy plant would provide some of the electricity supplied by Cleveland Public Power.
CLEVELAND — “City officials estimate that the plan could cost $180 million, which includes citywide curbside recycling. Proponents say the plant would operate cleanly and safely and reduce the city utility’s reliance on electricity purchased from coal-fired plants. They say it also would save millions of dollars each year on landfill fees and reduce the trail of pollution left by trucks commuting to dumps.
But environmental groups contend that the Japanese technology being considered by the city has not been tested on the volume of garbage that would pass through the Ridge Road site. They worry about the possibility of hazardous emissions, including mercury and lead, and want city officials to spend more time exploring alternatives like composting.
Tien holds U.S. licensing rights to the technology, which is owned by the Kinsei Sangyo Co.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told the Ohio EPA in a letter received Feb. 23 that the proposed plant would qualify as a tightly regulated major source of pollution, a designation the city had sought avoid. The federal agency also classified the plant as an incinerator, a word Cleveland officials had contended was inaccurate and refused to utter.”
— Thomas Ott, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Read the whole story: http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2012/03/cleveland_trash-plant_consulta.html
“The city of Cleveland possesses the resources, if used wisely, to recreate itself and overcome it’s polluted, downtrodden, Rust Belt status. Let’s be America’s Green Belt.”
— Megan M Smith
CLEVELAND — Cleveland Public Power’s proposal to build a garbage incinerator on Ridge Road is premised on the idea of turning garbage into pellets and then burning them as fuel. Although Cleveland Public Power Commissioner Ivan Henderson has never released a financing plan or finalized cost estimates for the project, he has repeatedly said the City will rely on the pellets to fuel the incinerator and that the project will generate additional revenue by selling excess pellets to various companies, including Cleveland Thermal. Financing for the project would be based on the generation of electricity from the incinerator.
But an elementary mathematical calculation shows that the city has nowhere near enough garbage to make this project work, much less enough to sell “extra” pellets to make money. The City of Cleveland only takes in enough trash from its own residents, as well as the residents of Lakewood and Brooklyn, to fuel a machine from one quarter to one third of the size of what they are planning.
When questioned about the volume of trash at public meetings, city officials have repeatedly stated they will produce enough trash to run the incinerator. But this statement doesn’t hold up against the following simple math: Continue reading Basic mathematical errors will doom incinerator project
Saturday, February 18, 2012: Protest against proposed Cleveland Incinerator, Southwest corner of W 25th Street at Lorain Avenue. Nidia Arguedas, Claudette Wlasuk, M.J. Muser, and Susan Slotter.
CLEVELAND — “In my opinion, the Administration’s response shows a reckless disregard for the safety of Cleveland’s citizens. Cleveland’s city government should be in the business of promoting the general welfare, not putting it at risk.
The Administration says that the people who oppose the incinerator are merely people who don’t want this monstrosity in their backyard. An incinerator spewing out mercury, lead or dioxin should not be built in anyone’s backyard! Even a little bit of mercury, lead, or dioxin, is too much and too dangerous. Doesn’t anyone in the Administration have a conscience?
People need to start calling into question the ethics of the leadership in the City of Cleveland’s administration. People must demand moral and ethical leadership from their government officials. Better to be safe than sorry.”
— Pat Tamburro, Cleveland Plain Press
Read the whole story: http://ohiocitizen.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/plainpress_Mar2012.pdf
Cartoon from Frederick County, MD, 2006, during a local debate over the terms “incinerator” and “waste-to-energy” plant
CLEVELAND — Over the past year, Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Public Power have repeatedly insisted that their proposed garbage burning facility on Ridge Road is a “gasifier,” not an “incinerator.” They have taken out full page ads in newspapers to make this point, developed elaborate analogies comparing the proposal to a “toaster,” and argued with citizens holding up “No Cleveland Incinerator” signs at public meetings.
The citizens of Cleveland weren’t fooled by this, however, and neither was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Last week, U.S. EPA, the agency in charge of regulating the Clean Air Act, wrote a detailed review of the city’s proposed air pollution permit and confirmed that the project is indeed an incinerator.
This is not just a debate over semantics, because air pollution rules and requirements for incinerators are stricter and more protective of public health than rules for gasifiers.
Claude Lawrence Cornett, a Cleveland area engineer, researched the patents for the Kinsei-Sangyo technology that the city based its permit on http://www.patentmaps.com/assignee/Kinsei_Sangyo_1.html and found that they all have the word “incineration” or “incinerating” in their titles.
Cornett goes on to explain: “Cleveland Public Power, the Cleveland Division of Air Quality, and others, have been scammed by Kinsei Sangyo and their representatives to think that the proposed at the Ridge Road waste treatment plant will use gasifiers and not solid waste incinerators with energy recovery.”
— Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action
CLEVELAND — “Obviously the city planners don’t care about our city’s children, the air they breathe or the water they drink; so if they considered it monetarily, think of the additional loss of property taxes when this poison factory drives our property values even lower.”
— Sandra Nichols
“I don’t want to breathe whatever chemicals will come from this incinerator and I definitely don’t want my children exposed to it! We need to focus on cleaning up our city instead of turning it into a dump!”
Mayor Frank Jackson
CLEVELAND — Neighbors from Cleveland, Brooklyn, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights hand-delivered the following letter to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson before last night’s City Council meeting:
Dear Mayor Jackson,
Over the past two months, hundreds of Clevelanders have devoted thousands of hours of their time to studying the proposed garbage incinerator on Ridge Road. Citizens from across the city and the region came to public hearings to express their opposition to this facility and submitted written comments in opposition to the draft permit.
Last week, U.S. EPA validated the many environmental and permitting flaws which had been raised by the citizens, including the fact that this facility must be regulated as an incinerator (not merely a “gasifier”) and that the levels of emissions of harmful chemicals would qualify it as a “major” source of pollution.
We urge you to:
1) Withdraw the proposed air permit to install for this facility;
2) Cancel this ill-conceived project, which still has no cost estimates or financing mechanisms;
3) Refocus the City’s efforts on developing a strong recycling, composting, and resource recovery program.
It is clear from the six public meetings over the past six weeks that Clevelanders are eager for alternatives to this incinerator and stand ready to work with your administration to implement them.
— Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action
CLEVELAND — Cleveland Utillities Department Director Barry Withers sent a letter on February 23 to Peter Tien of Princeton Environmental Group, telling him they will cancel his contract to design the proposed garbage incinerator unless he corrects deficiencies in his “Design Memorandum” within ten days of the letter. CPP Commissioner Ivan Henderson admitted at a public meeting on February 15 that Tien had submitted new costs estimates for the facility that day, but CPP has yet to make that document public.
Tien has a $1.5 million no-bid contract with CPP to design the proposed garbage incinerator, using the Japanese Kinsei-Sangyo technology that he represents in the U.S. In 2011, Tien was the key figure in the city’s embarrassing proposed no-bid contract with Sunpo-Optu technology to provide LED lightbulbs — a deal that was eventually abandoned by the city. Nonetheless, CPP continued to work with Tien on the highly controversial garbage incinerator proposal.
Despite a contract obligation to hire Clevelanders to work on the incinerator project, Tien allocated 98.5% of his contracting budget to contractors from outside the city, and did not have the money to pay them. One of Tien’s contractors, GT Environmental of Columbus, which drafted the air permit, now appears to be representing Cleveland Public Power, according to a letter Henderson sent to the Cleveland Division of Air Quality on February 23.
— Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action
“How is this a part of moving the city and its supporting suburbs into a healthier and more environmentally sustainable place to live, work and play?”
SHAKER HTS — “Earl M. Leiken, the Mayor of Shaker Heights, filed official public comments yesterday on the City of Cleveland’s proposal to build a new garbage incinerator. The mayor’s comments conclude:
“The permit application lists the allowable emissions that would come from the plant, among them pollutants with obnoxious odors associated with them, especially the Dioxin. Such odors can negatively impact communities even when the actual pollutants emitted are within the legally acceptable ranges.
It appears there many unanswered concerns about the amount, type and quality of the trash that will provide the fuel for the plant and the impact of adding such a large new source of air pollution as our area struggles to regain its economic footing.
Finally, I want to impress upon the Division of Air Quality, whose jurisdiction covers all of Cuyahoga County, that such a large new source of pollutants must be evaluated not only for its impact in the immediate neighborhood surrounding the plant, but also the impact in other communities in the County that will also likely be affected.”
— Earl M Leiken, Mayor of Shaker Heights
Read the full text of letter
CLEVELAND — “As reflected by the comments submitted earlier today to the Ohio EPA, Cleveland Public Power asked the Ohio EPA to revise the air permit for the CREG Center to ensure the proposed facility is a minor source as defined by Ohio EPA and US EPA. This request is consistent with the City’s repeated statements at multiple community meetings that it would take all necessary steps to ensure emissions from this facility are minimized.
To meet minor source requirements, CPP has improved the design specifications by reducing the number of gasification lines from 4 to 3, enhancing the proposed air pollution control equipment and increasing the facility’s stack height from 175 feet to 200 feet. These enhancements will significantly reduce the maximum annual emissions from the CREG Center by an average of more than 25% and also reduce the predicted maximum air quality impact in the nearby neighborhoods by an average of more than 50%.”
— press release, Cleveland Public Power
Read the full press release
U.S. EPA forces Jackson to scale back trash-to-gas plant
— Erick Trickey, Cleveland Magazine
CLEVELAND — “Critics of Cleveland’s proposed trash-to-electricity plant thought it was a dead idea Thursday afternoon, but city officials countered by saying they have found a way to lower emissions and are hoping for Ohio EPA approval.
The critics based their belief on a letter from the U.S. EPA in Chicago, criticizing the city’s standards and urging the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate the plan. U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Ward 14 Councilman Brian Cummins made the letter public at a midafternoon news conference.
But Ken Silliman, chief of staff for Mayor Frank Jackson, said during a meeting with The Plain Dealer editorial board that the U.S. EPA’s views were based on outdated data. Maureen Harper, the city’s chief of communications, said that as long as the plant is determined to be a ‘synthetic minor’ — that is, a minor producer of pollution that falls below a certain threshold — then the state agency has control. She said the U.S. EPA’s letter was intended only as a comment.
Harper said the city is confident that its revised plans, which include raising the smoke stack from 175 feet to 200 feet to disperse the material over a wider area, will meet the lower standard. But she said that if the plant is still determined to be a major producer, then the more stringent federal standards would apply.”
— James Ewinger, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Read the whole story
— Mark Holan, Sun News
— Maude L. Campbell, Cleveland Scene
CHICAGO, IL — “Unless OEPA can demonstrate this conclusion is in error, we would consider issuance of a synthetic minor permit to be inappropriate and in violation of federal PSD [Major Source Prevent Significant Deterioration] requirements. We would expect the need for OEPA to go back and issue a PSD permit for this proposed facility and that PSD applicability would need to be re-evaluated for the other pollutants to determine if they are at major source levels considering their significance level thresholds. The permit must be re-evaluated to determine whether it was major for non-attainment New Source Review for the PM 2.5 [fine particulate matter (soot) less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter] emissions.
“As noted, the fundamental question of PSD applicability is critical, and could likely result in an entirely new permit process, requirements and record, which will undergo its own EPA review. We do, however, have other comments on this draft synthetic minor permit, which we’ve provided in Appendix A. As you are aware, many people have raised environmental justice concerns and our review considered those issues as well. We have provided several recommendations to further strengthen the permit given the concerns of the community.”
— Genevieve Damico, Chief, Air Permits Section, U.S. EPA Region 5, letter to Michael Hopkins, Assistant Chief, Permitting, Ohio EPA Division of Air Pollution Control, February 23, 2012