A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 Dec. 1993 - Jan. 1994

A Review, by State, of Operating Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators. # 6: CONNECTICUT

The 6th of our 24-part series continues our review of waste-to-energy MSW incinerators, including references to Waste Not issues. Vendor/Operator from GAA’s 1993 edition. Type: M=Mass Burn; R=RDF. Tons-Per-Day is incinerator design capacity. APC = Air Pollution Controls: 1-ESP. 2-Baghouse. 3-Dry Scrubber. 4-NOx Control. 5-Wet Scrubber.


LOCATION O = OPERATOR Type APC On-Line 1988 1991 1993

CT Hartford12 V: OGDEN MARTIN R 2,3 1988 2000 2000 2000

O: Metropolitan district.

Preston13 V/O: American Ref-Fuel M 2,3 1992 - - 600

Wallingford14 V/O: OGDEN MARTIN M 2,3 1989 - 420 420

Windham15 V: CONSUMAT; O:Town M 2,3 1981 108 108 -

12. Hartford, Connecticut. In January 1993 Ogden replaced ABB as the operator of this incinerator, known as the “Mid-Connecticut Project.” Paul Mazzaccaro, CRRA project manager, told us that treated medical waste is accepted at the incinerator. This is the only incinerator in the State that is owned by the state-run Connecticut Resource Recovery Agency. In 1989 the incinerator’s record included over $7 million in repairs caused by explosions, fires, design problems, and technical malfunctions. On April 30, 1989, the Connecticut Hartford Courant published its findings from a 5-month investigation on the planning and building of Combustion Engineering’s (original builder/operator) incinerator. According to this report: “Planners of [the incinerator] repeatedly used misleading information about its cost and technology to sell it to municipal leaders and the public...” For more information see WN#s 30,44,53,197.

13. Preston, Connecticut. Situated in a residential area, in the S.W. corner of Preston on the Thames River. 13 towns have put-or-pay contracts to supply waste. Only 3 are meeting their minimal waste commitments. In 1985, tip fee estimates were between $30-35/ton. In the first year of operation it was $79/ton, and in 1994, the projected tip fee is $87. Shortfall is made up with spot-market waste, which pays about $45 a ton. A lot of waste comes from out-of-state, including New York and Rhode Island. Even if enough waste can be procured on the spot-market, the towns are still financially liable for the tons they have contracted for. According to Preston selectman, John Freedman, in the project’s planning stages, citizens clearly stated that the incinerator was oversized. Charles Manning, a consultant with W.F. Cosulich (engineering consultants to the regional waste authority), responded that the incinerator capacity might not be big enough. Freedman, who lives 2-3 miles from the incinerator, told us that in the summer of 1993 there was a loud noise outside his house and he went to the plant to investigate. He found that boilers were being cleaned out with a technique that detonated something in the boiler to break off the build-up in the boiler, and then a “super-sucker” vacuum was used to collect the build-up. Residents close to the incinerator said they heard a number of explosions. According to Freedman, this incinerator has the highest tip fee of all CT plants, even though they have the highest (approx. 8.5 cents/kw) subsidy for electricity sales. Currently, the ash is going to Fall River, Massachusetts. A new landfill is just about to open in Montville, CT, also on the Thames River, and across the river from Preston. The population of Preston: aprox. 4,800. For more information contact John Freedman, 35 Lincoln Park Rd., Preston, CT 06365. Tel: 203-889-5768.

14. Wallingford, Connecticut. According to GAA 1993*, Ogden purchased plant for $9.1 million after Vicon went bankrupt.--p 268. Next to the incinerator are homes on one side and on the other side is the city’s unlined landfill, where the ash is dumped. The landfill abuts the Quinnipiac River, which empties into the L.I. sound, approx 5-6 miles away. The incinerator discharges its waste water into the river. Also next to the incinerator is American Cyanamid (now called Cytec), one of the biggest polluters in the state. American Cyanamid gave the land where the incinerator is located for $1 to the State. The incinerator sold steam and electricity to Cytec, but when their 5-year contract was up for renewal in the summer of 1993, Cytec backed out because they determined they could make it cheaper. According to Cathy Avery, the citizens don’t receive the incinerator emission reports, because they are told they are too complicated. Cathy noted that the citizens went to all the hearings before the incinerator was built and were told by the State Dept. of Environmental Protection the amounts of pollutants the incinerator would emit. “Now we ask them, and they [DEP] can’t tell us. We have given up on the DEP. The good people in the DEP that were helpful to us have left. The DEP sent us a stack of reports, about 3 feet high, but a lay person could never decipher it. Very discouraging. The Record Journal, in Meriden, is completely against citizens [opposed to incinerators]. Garbage [to the incinerator] comes from Long Island and all over the place,” says Cathy. The 5 towns who contracted to send their waste to the incinerator are: Hampden, Cheshire, Meriden, North Haven and Wallingford. Ogden held neighborhood meetings over the residents’ complaints of noise from the plant. Ogden was able to reduce the levels, but the noise is still there. The State representative for the area, Mary Mushinsky, pushed hard to get the incinerator. At the time she was the head of the State Legislative Environmental Committee. According to a report in Waste Age, June 1989, p 130: Fluor Daniel were project manager/designer/engineer. For more information contact Cathy & Robert Avery, People Against Garbage Burning, 42 North Elm Street, Wallingford, CT 06492. Tel: 203-265-6072. [Note: this citizens groups has been meeting regularly since 1985.] See also WN # 197.

15. Windham, Connecticut. The incinerator shut down in the summer of 1993 due to lack of money. While operational, the incinerator accepted medical waste. GAA’s Yearbooks* list Camp, Dresser & McKee as the incinerator designer. Financing was through Farm Home Administration. While operational the incinerator burned: medical waste from Windham hospital; industrial waste; pharmaceutical waste; illicit drugs from police raids and spot market waste.

The Natchaug River is close to the site. The ash went to the unlined Plains Road landfill in south Windham. The landfill is on the banks of the Shetucket River. (According to David Galt of the CT Fund for the Environment this landfill, if lined, has a huge capacity, with DEP approval, for taking ash.) When the incinerator shut down, the Preston, Hartford, Bristol and Bridgeport incinerators all wanted to take the waste. The residents who lived the closest to the incinerator have suffered the most by the operation of this incinerator. They have been abandoned by every agency mandated to protect public health in the state. The incinerator went on-line in 1981. When it lost its steam customer it operated for 1 1/2 years without air pollution controls. The incinerator abuts a trailer park with approx. 500 trailers. The closest trailer is approx 1500 feet from the incinerator. The residents complained bitterly of odors and black smoke from the incinerator, all to no avail. According to Robin Miyashiro of Windham Residents Against Pollution: In June 1990 a cloud formed over the incinerator on a warm sunny day. The wind moved it over the trailer park when a sudden rainstorm happened which lasted approx 30 minutes. Robin’s two children, then 6 and 9 years old, played outside in the rain. Robin was in the kitchen of her trailer and noticed, when the rain stopped and the sun came out, an evergreen tree in the trailer park turn brown before her eyes. Her son, who had been sitting, playing, in a rain puddle, developed raised red welts from his waist down and on his hands and the parts of his arms that were in the water. Her 6 year old daughter said her feet were burning ‘deep inside.’ Robin didn’t know what happened, and gave her 9 year old son baking soda baths for 2 weeks. The 6 year old complained of burning feet for more than a week, then the skin began to peel and came off. Even today, if her feet swell a lot, the bottom of her feet peel and crack. Robin’s children have been diagnosed with asthmatic bronchitis and she and her husband have, at times, nagging coughs. Robin didn’t know much about the incinerator in the summer of 1990. When she began to find out more, she asked for a health study of the trailer park community. The response from the State: nothing. In 1990, the incinerator was retrofitted with a baghouse and with semi-dry scrubbers and a continuous monitoring system. Yet, the incinerator, according to Robin, has never had stack emission tests since 1981, and the CEM was never certified by the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Robin told us the only tests the incinerator has had is for opacity. In 1990 the community had a proposal from a Hartford-based company, Natural Resources, to burn medical wastes. They were told by Walter Pawelkievicz, the 1st selectman of Preston, that only clean air came out of the stacks. Yet the town complained that the company who put in the air pollution controls did not treat the smokestack with an anti-corrosive paint. At this time chunks of the smokestack were falling and citizens could see holes in the stack. In June 1993, residents witnessed black smoke billowing out of the dump stacks. They called to complain to the DEP. In July, residents saw black smoke coming out of the roof of the incinerator building. Citizens called the fire department thinking there was a fire. Robin received an anonymous call from a worker at the incinerator who told her the black smoke was coming into the office and the office was covered in soot. At this time the plant manager was Bob Nadiu. The incinerator closed down shortly after that. In December 1993 the area had a severe rain and wind storm which literally tore down the top part of the smokestack. Citizens could see panels of metal hanging from the smokestack. Citizens were not allowed on the site to take photographs. The top part of the smokestack was taken down. Citizens don’t know where it went. The citizens complain that there has been an information shut-down concerning the incinerator since they beat the medical waste proposal in 1990. The incinerator is owned and operated by the Town of Windham. The town entered into a lease contract with the company (Kendall) who owned the land. After a while Kendall sold out to United Abrasive. United says the contract allows them to claim the land back after 90 days when the facility is closed down. Though the incinerator is closed down, the town tells the residents it is technically open. The citizens assume that town only says that to keep its options open, as Natural Resources is still pushing a process to bake, not burn, contaminated soil to de-volatize petroleum products at the incinerator. See also WOW Video # 5, Windham, Connecticut, Incinerator, available from Video-Active Productions, Rt. 2, Box 322, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-386-8797. For more info. contact Robin Miyashiro, Windham Residents Against Pollution, 39 Wayne Drive, North Windham, CT 06256, Tel: 203-423-7553. See WN# 109.

*1993-1994 Resource Recovery Yearbook, Directory & Guide, by Eileen Berenyi, Ph.D. and Robert N. Gould, 718 pages, published by Governmental Advisory Associates, Inc. (a private consulting/research group), 177 E. 87th Street, NY, NY 10128.

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Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.