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Editorial: CES submitting info to city leaders ahead of meeting

This news story was published on December 18, 2011.
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(by JoAnn Hardy of Mason City)

To the editor:

CES has been submitting documents to the city in an attempt to convince our decision-makers that their process is safe and/or has been tested elsewhere.

One document is an Environmental Assessment done by the Department of Energy related to the Oneida facility that is proposed for Green Bay, Wisconsin. Mr. Yavorski continually makes reference to this facility (not built) because it will use the same pyrolysis units as proposed for Mason City. I was sent 5 documents by people in Green Bay that refute the information in that DOE report. The DOE document does not say where and when the “testing” in their study took place, or the type and quantity of the waste tested, or how the results were evaluated. The study lists 87 waste to energy facilities operating in the U.S. that are not in any way associated with pyrolysis or gasification. The only pyrolysis plant listed was a small demonstration project in Romoland, California that never was fully permitted and was plagued with problems and was decommissioned. There should have been an Environmental Impact Statement done on the Oneida plant, which is much more detailed and specific to the project, because this is a new and unproven technology.

CES is not required by the government to do an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for the plant proposed for Mason City because CES is not asking for federal dollars for this project. There are millions of dollars available for projects like this one, but CES avoids the scrutiny if they don’t ask for the money.

The Oneida plant proposed for Green Bay, plans to receive 313 tons of municipal solid waste per day (5 days a week) and sort it down to 210 tons (remove things that won’t gasify and things to recycle) and then burn 150 tons per day (7 days a week) to produce 4.62 megawatts per hour (MWH) of power. The CES project here proposes to receive 240 tons of garbage per day and produce 13 MWH of power (3 to use to run the plant and 10 to sell to Alliant). Huge difference!! How does CES get so much more energy from basically the same amount of garbage (or less) and using the same pyrolysis machines??? Is the CES plant proposed for Mason City mostly a tire burning facility??? The Oneida plant plans to hire up to 20 employees—CES is planning to hire 55. The Oneida plant expects up to 24 trucks to enter their facility per day. CES plans for 100-120 to enter the facility proposed for Mason City.

CES presented a document about a manure pyrolysis facility in California as proof this plant could be permitted. I’m not sure what that has to do with the proposed Mason City municipal solid waste (MSW) facility. Manure is a predictable feedstock to use in the facility. MSW is not. MSW is much more variable and difficult to work with safely.

CES presented a document written by Sigma about the Oneida facility. Sigma was hired by Oneida to evaluate and help promote their planned facility in Green Bay. There are problems with the document. Sigma took some MSW to a 12 ton per day test facility in Rosamond, California to process it. The document claims success, but for the emissions evaluation to be valid, the report would need to list specifics about what was gasified. They did not. Feedstock is a huge variable in the emissions.

The document includes a short list of pyrolysis facilities, but Sigma states they did not verify the operating record of the facilities. I can confirm they did not verify the list. I called to get information about plants in the U.S. that are doing tire pyrolysis. There were no plants listed in the U.S. do pyrolysis with MSW.

I called some tire recyclers in Tacoma to find out what they know about a tire pyrolysis facility listed in the document. They had not heard of such a facility. I called the Tacoma Solid Waste Agency to find out what they know about the tire recycler/pyrolysis processor in Tacoma. The manager there had not heard of such a facility. He said there used to be a small demonstration project in a nearby town. It has closed. Possibly that was the reference.

The Sigma document lists a tire pyrolysis facility in Boardman, Oregon that Sigma states has been processing 60 tons of tires a day since 2008. I called. No one answers the phone. I left messages. No one calls back. I called the “home office” in Seattle and was told by a young woman working there that she is the only one working there and she is new and is unable answer any questions about the plant. I talked to the Port Authority near Boardman. The Boardman facility is located near the Port Authority. The woman who answered the phone said the plant construction may have been finished in 2008, but it has had continuing problems with equipment failures and mechanical difficulties and then it was sold to a new owner. She said they are still testing the technology and it operates occasionally.

I can be all for new ideas and new technology, if it does not present a risk to health and safety. We don’t know with this CES plant. There is not actual data. I request that the Zoning Board of Adjustment ask CES for actual testing data related to the plant proposed for Mason City and with the assistance of the Department of Public Health and the Department of Natural Resources, evaluate the data related to the health and safety of the citizens of Mason City.

JoAnn Hardy

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14 Responses to Editorial: CES submitting info to city leaders ahead of meeting

  1. Avatar

    Howie Reply Report comment

    December 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Betty, that is my point, every manufacturing business out there has emissions that are potentially dangerous.

  2. Avatar

    betty Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 11:26 am

    And Howie, we do want manufacturing jobs and that’s why we don’t want to take a chance on losing future businesses of all types locating in MC by having a plant with potential health hazards. That would keep good manufacturing jobs from locating here when decision making executives who have families and employees they want to protect would be looking elsewhere. And if you’re talking about jobs where people wear hazmat suits, is that really the best we can do?

  3. Avatar

    betty Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Look at how this JoAnn Hardy works to get all this info and makes calls and references facilities and facts surrounding them. Facts are facts. Notice how Howie and Observer keep repeating their same old opinions based on what? If you want legitimacy why don’t you put some work into it and tell everyone your sources? Who is ignorant enough to just take someone’s opinion as fact? There are too many agendas out there and unfortunately our society does not place the emphasis on truth and honor like it did in days gone by. So people are leary and weary of scams because they’ve seen it done before. The time and money these people must be spending to help MC citizens become informed makes me grateful they are in our community. Thank you to all of you.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2011 at 10:50 am

    HOWIE/OBSERVER Ahhh sticking together like CES and the good old boys!!!! Next you will want the natural gas folks to come to town for JOBS and let them start FRACKING in our backyard. And the pipeline you speak of HOWIE goes right over the water aquafers for several States including who??? Ahhh who caress its a job or two sell your soles!!!! BUT DONT TRY TO SEE MINE!!! I like fresh air and clean water!!!!!

  5. Avatar

    Howie Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I look at this pipeline the fed’s want to build. It represents much needed infrastructure and jobs needed in our country, Yet people like JoAnn will always be against it cuz they are blinded by fear. Truth be told, a new pipeline is far safer than the alternative. Perhaps CES could be a better alternative that overloading a landfill?? Sooner or later, that landfill will need to expand, then what? I wish ms hardy had more to do.

    • Avatar

      Observer Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2011 at 1:44 am

      Howie you could not be more correct. Despite all the information out there that she and others refuse to acknowledge, they keep referring to the wrong technology.

  6. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

    For example Mrs. Hardy, you do not know for certain that the CES plant will use the same exact retort as Oneida. Will it be a design from Lurgi or other provider? What about the 1965 study by the City of San Diego? Or Taiwan?

    I think personally, you went fishing for data that will only support the outcome you desire.

  7. Avatar

    comment Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Bookmeyer and Trout have already played their trump card with pam which they hope will scare all the boards into submission. Be at the meeting and be vocal. Havent heard any rumors what backdoor bookmeyer will do to stop the people from speaking but be sure the weasel has something planned.

  8. Avatar

    Patriot Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Nothing against new jobs, but if all it is going to do is cause harm to the employees and residents then those new jobs are a determent not an asset.

    Mason City needs more then 20 to 50 jobs. Get a large manufacturer in here that hires several hundred, not something untested so we can be used as a sales point and guinnea pigs.

  9. Avatar

    Watchdog Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2011 at 2:01 am

    I would also like to call on the Medical, Professional, and Business community to step forward and demand a halt to putting this kind of facility in the city limits.

    There are much better ways to process refuse into something useful than this pyrolysis test facility.

    Hopefully reason will take over and our ill advised Mayor and Council will come to there senses.

  10. Avatar

    Watchdog Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2011 at 1:54 am

    I want to thank JoAnn Hardy for the time and effort researching this information. It is pretty appearant that our Mayor and City Administrator are not. I also want to add that the city council has also derelict in asking for research.

    This fellow Howie has it in for the citizens of Mason City. Nobody of sound mind would be so in favor of a test facility that has the potential to do great harm.

    No job is worth the risk. Howie’s talk about not wanting jobs here or manufacturing is just plain nonsense. Stop with the Mason City bashing.

  11. Avatar

    Howie Reply Report comment

    December 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    It will only take a small group of vocal people to keep any new jobs from coming to the area. All this’s rediculous. Some of you are afraid we will grow into minneapolis if we get jobs…that’s crazy. Every manufacturer in town has emissions. I challenge you all to name one that doesn’t? I guess we really don’t want any manufacturing here now do we?

  12. Avatar

    Patriot Reply Report comment

    December 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    More darkness rather then light.

    Again, why do they wan’t to build it here? Why have other communities said no?

    This is simply an attempt to push the zoninig board to give them there permit. I hope our zoning board is smart enough to not fall for questionable information.

    To much dissinformation.

  13. Avatar

    WoW Reply Report comment

    December 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Is there anyway you can shut this website down until this tire plant is shoved down our throat so our Mayer can claim he created jobs and move onto his next political agenda?