A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 SEPTEMBER 1993
Clark County Commissioners recently signed a 25-year contract to construct a 1,750 ton per day garbage-burning incinerator -despite months of citizen opposition. This facility is planned as a partnership between Ohio Edison and Ogden Martin Systems of New Jersey. Because of Ohio Edisons role, the worst possible location has been chosen -- the defunct Ohio Edison building at the west edge of Springfield. This site is on the banks of Buck Creek and Mad River, across from a historic public park and golf course, and within feet of homes and businesses. Prevailing west winds spew emissions across the population center (Springfield)...3C-AID (Clark County Citizens Against Incinerator Dangers) is the citizens group started in response to this proposal. Group members originally were concerned that the democratic process was being abused. Few people were aware of what our county officials had planned. As more information was gathered about solid waste incineration, its health risks, and the questionable track-record of Ogden Martin in other locations, 3C-AID members became aware of the serious environmental risks. 3C-AID concerns include: the fact that less than 10% of the garbage to be burned would come from Clark County (90% would be imported); ash created by the incinerator would amount to 400 tons per day of toxic waste that has to be landfilled; electricity recovered from this waste-to-energy facility is not needed due to Edisons current overcapacity; the requested permit would allow daily air emissions of 11,051 pounds; the heavy metals will drift over mid-Ohio, yet no baseline air studies are being considered...and the list goes on... Signed by Trish Byerman, co-founder, 3C-AID, PO Box 816, Springfield, OH 45501-0816. Trishs tel #: 513-325-0411. 3C-AIDs Fax: 513-325-0411.
Prepared by 3C-AID, the following is a comparison of Von Rolls WTI hazardous waste 164 tpd incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio, to Ogdens proposed municipal waste 1,750 tpd incinerator for Springfield, Ohio._
WTI OGDEN MARTIN HOW MUCH GREATER
Estimated Emissions Estimated Emissions OGDEN MARTIN
POLLUTANT (pounds/year)* (pounds/year)** THAN WTI
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) 286,000 2,020,980 7.06 times
Volatile Organic Compounds 2,560 97,640 38.14 times
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) 11,440 468,640 40.96 times
Carbon Monoxide (CO) 24,800 683,420 27.58 times
Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) 4,400 222,720 50.62 times
Total Particulates (Metals) 9,600 134,420 14.00 times
Lead 152 2,440 16.05 times
Mercury 480 880 1.83 times
* Information source: Ohio EPA. ** Information source: Ogden Martins Permit-to-Install Applicatio
Annual Emissions as reported in The Beacon Journal (Akron), February 21, 1993.
Toxic Metals (in pounds): Toxic Gases (in pounds):
Arsenic 10,400 Hydrogen Chloride 2,334,000
Beryllium 621 Sulfur Dioxide 1,782,000
Cadmium 480 Nitrogen Oxide 1,728,000
Chromium 173 Carbon Monoxide 296,000
Mercury Not detected (!)
Nickel 899 Dioxins/furans No tests done
Selenium 25,600 PCBs No tests done
The city of Akron owns the incinerator, called Recycle Energy Systems (RES), which went on line in June 1979 at a cost of $56 million. This is a refuse derived fuel (RFD) incinerator, that shreds the garbage prior to feeding it into the boilers. This incinerator has suffered numerous explosions, and in 1984, one of the explosions killed 3 workers. The 1984 explosion was caused when toxic-contaminated sawdust in the garbage was ignited by the heat of the boilers -see Waste Not # 73. Babcock & Wilcox built the boilers. Some responses to the above estimated annual emissions from the Akron trash incinerator: Akron officials say the plant is safe, largely because no one has told them that it is unsafe, said [Akron] Service Director Linda Sowa. Theres no skull and crossbones hanging over the plant, she said. We see nothing unusual or dangerous in the emissions....With such numbers, Akron has a serious problem, said Paul Connett...Such emissions of acid gases and heavy metals should trigger concern, but not alarm in Akron, said Ohio State University professor Joe Heimlich [an incineration proponent]...Only a miniscule fraction of the chemicals coming from the RES stacks ever reached the general public because of dispersion in the air, and that creates only a minimal health risk, said Ohio EPA spokesman Paul Koval. [According to Barry Commoner]: To not find mercury in an old plant like yours is just absolutely amazing. In fact, its beyond belief. The Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio, February 21, 1993.
Comment from Waste Not:
All the above figures are theoretical and already Von Rolls WTI incinerator in East Liverpool has exceeded mercury and dioxin emissions in test burns. However, it would be a mistake to focus simply on air emissions. It is our position that its siting, so close to a school and housing, and in violation of Ohio state law, defies common sense and human decency. Any accident at the WTI facility could prove fatal for nearby residents and the school children. Both the Ohio EPA and federal EPAs negligence on this matter borders on criminality.
is the title of an article by Eric Weltman, published in the July/August 1993 Multinational Monitor. This issue is available for $3 from Essential Information, PO BOX 19405, Washington, DC 20036. The following are some excerpts:
The Ogden style is in-your-face...
It causes enormous strain for the town and the state.
William Harsch, a former director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
Ogden Martins incinerator in Lake County, Florida: The case of Lake County, Florida offers a dramatic example of the financial toll Ogden can exact from a community. The countys original 1984 incineration proposal called for General Electric (GE) to design, finance, build and operate a facility, at no cost to the community. By the time construction began in 1990, however, GE had pulled out of the deal, Ogden was the builder, operator and owner of the incinerator and construction costs had risen to $79 million. In addition, the county is paying the plants property taxes. County Commissioner Richard Swartz says, We went straight from a situation where Lake County had no financial obligation -zero, none -to a situation where Lake County ended up paying not only for the $79 million in construction costs, but to a total obligation for debt service and operating costs of nearly $300 million over the 22-year life of the Ogden contract....Swartz says the Ogden contract has undermined the positive economic and environmental effects of the countys recycling program. Were in the classic situation of having recycling compete with incineration. Even though Lake County is growing, our tonnages available for burning have been leveled or are going down. As a result, Lake County, through Ogden Martin, is importing tens of thousands of tons of medical waste, pharmaceuticals and plastics, says Swartz, In order to meets its contractual obligations to Ogden Martin, Lake County imported and burned waste from other Florida counties and lost money on the deal. Our countys estimated real costs were approximately $74 per ton, but we were receiving as little as $16 per ton. We made up the difference by charging Lake County residents higher fees. Swartz concludes that the countys decision to build an Ogden incinerator has not made long-term economic sense. Certainly if Lake County had chosen to recycle and compost, then landfill the little that was left, we could have done it for significantly less than we pay now. No sane person looking at the numbers would doubt that...I am willing to talk to any community and share the Lake County experience....Don Slisher, a Lee County Commissioner from 1984-1992 who opposed an Ogden incinerator, adds, Never has so much time and energy been spent at the detriment of so many for the benefit of so few.
For more information contact CCHW at 703-237-2249.
The main goals of the Conference are to provide educational workshops on the different types of incineration and to develop local/state/national strategies to stop the use of incineration. Workshop speakers include Peter Montague, Pat Costner, Craig Williams, Robert Ginsburg, and grassroots activists. Friday night: 7-9pm, Speaker, Paul Connett; Saturday, 8 am to 6pm, with Ralph Nader speaking between 1-2pm; Sunday: entire day will be spent on coming up with ideas on how to fight back and win.