Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CPP Announces meeting on gasification facility, provides no meaningful data on emissions

NOTICE -- Cleveland Public Power has announced a meeting to be held regarding the proposed Gasification-Municipal Solid Waste-to Energy facility being proposed for the Ridge Road Transfer Station.  The meeting is scheduled to be held at the Estabrook Recreation Center, 4125 Fulton Road, at 6:00 pm, Thursday, January 23rd, 2012.

See the initial Public Hearing Announcement from the EPA for the one and only Public Comment Hearing held on January 9th.  NOTE that the City of Cleveland has requested from Ohio EPA a 30-day extension of the Official Public Comment Period from January to February 23rd.  See the original announcement for where and how to submit comment.

The CPP statement, linked here, see specific text regarding emissions, is an insult to the process.  CPP has applied for an Air Permit to operate a gasification facility.  I find it incredulous that while their Draft Air Permit is being reviewed for public comment (closing 2/2012), that CPP cannot communicate clearly what the emissions are estimated to be; what they’ve actually stated within their permit application.

Instead, under no less a heading of “ Understanding the impact”, CPP states

...if we don’t allow mercury and other toxins into the gasification process, we will not have mercury and other toxins coming out of the gasification process.

In fact, here is a listing of the emissions listed for the facility, per CPP’s  EPA Permit Application using a 72.24% utilization of heat input:

  1. Particulate PM(F+C) 78.75 Tons per year
  2. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2); 78.75 Tons per year
  3. Nitric oxide & nitrogen dioxide NOx; 194.31 Tons per year
  4. Carbon monoxide (CO); 87.95 Tons per year
  5. Volatile organic compounds (VOC ); 26.59 Tons per year
  6. Hyposulfurous acid (H2SO2); 7.36 Tons per year
  7. Lead (Pb); 500 Pounds per year
  8. Ammonia; 16.36 Tons per year
  9. Hydrogen chloride (HCI); 6.55 Tons per year
  10. Dioxin; 1.27 E-5 Tons per year
  11. Cadmium (Cd); 26 Pounds per year
  12. Mercury (Hg); 260 Pounds per year
  13. Hydrogen fluoride (HF) 1,260 Pounds per year


Let's have a serious discussion of the impacts of these emissions on the people living in our Cleveland neighborhoods and not greenwash this project as panacea to our waste management and energy generation challenges.

As the Council representative of Ward 14, I represent a population of approximately 24,000 people for which our neighborhoods are directly down-wind from the proposed facility, 2 miles North.  The neighborhoods are recognized as low-income and are made up of a population that is between 30% and 44% Hispanic minority.

It is important to note that in consulting with representatives from the EPA Region 5 Office, they have confirmed that the communities to be impacted by the proposed project qualify as Environmental Justice areas of concern, due to the prevalence of low-income and minority (Hispanic) residents who are disproportionately impacted by asthma and other debilitating health conditions related to poor air quality in the City at present.

     See references to Environmental Justice in “Public Involvement Policy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency May 2003” and “Environmental Justice in EPA Permitting: Reducing Pollution in High-Risk Communities is Integral to Agency’s Mission. December 2001”.
     “…while incidence of asthma is average for Hispanics in general, Puerto Ricans are about…as likely to be diagnosed with asthma than non-Hispanic whites, and about 1 in 5 Puerto Rican children are diagnosed with asthma, compared to 1 in 10 Hispanic children overall, and 1 in 13 non-Hispanic White children…” ("Profiles of Latino Health," 2009). 2011 Latino Community Report, Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs.

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