A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 JULY 1994
Complete Text of the Ministers Announcement of July 15, 1994:
Environment Minister Does Not Approve Burnside Waste-to-Energy Facility.
Nova Scotias Environment Minister Robbie Harrison announced today that he will not approve the incinerator proposed by the Metropolitan Authority.
The Minster made his decision following a careful review and consideration of recommendations submitted to him by the Environmental Control Council and by the Environmental Assessment Administrator in reports received on June 29 and 30th.
Mr. Harrison said he concurs with environmental and economic arguments presented, citing high capital costs, most of which will be spent outside of Nova Scotia and the probability of those costs increasing both during construction and while upgrading to meet newer standards during the lifespan of the incinerator.
The Environmental Control Council concludes that if the alternative landfill option is established, there will be more local employment, greater flexibility in developing, supporting and investing in new technologies and greater opportunities to demonstrate, support, and market these technologies.
Most importantly, the Minister agreed with a key Council observation of increased opportunity to enhance the climate for public participation in programs to reduce, re-use, recycle and compost.
Nova Scotias Environmental process is the peoples jury on an undertaking or proposed project, the Minister sad. Its a chance for the people or the experts to have their say; and they did. Todays announcement brings to an end a process that gave a voice to many area residents, especially those of metro whose lives would be most directly affected by the project.
A little background: Residents of Nova Scotia became intensely involved with this proposal because of its immediate dangers to public health and the long-term threat it posed to any hope of achieving sustainable resource management. Though there are several factors which sustained the involvement of so many citizens over the last three years, it was principally due to (1) the results of their own research which consistently led to the conclusions of the need for a resource management plan focused on sustainability; and (2) their first-hand experiences of the manipulations and scheming in which the incinerator project was being foisted upon the public and elected politicians. Over the years David Wimberly and Don Grady kept Waste Not informed of this fast-paced incinerator battle that captivated the headlines in Nova Scotia for the last three years. When David has a chance to catch his breath, he will be write up the story for Waste Not. See also WN #214, 225. For more information contact David Wimberly, Its Not Garbage Coalition, 15 Schooner Cover Rd., Head of St. Margarets Bay, N.S. BOJ 3JO, tel: 902-826-1369. Fax: 902-826-1369; or Don Grady, RR #2, Porters Lake, Halifax Co., N.S. BOJ 2SO, tel: 902-434-8815.
...The public debate and interest in this incinerator has far surpassed any project subjected to the scrutiny and review under this [the Nova Scotia Environmental Assessment Act]. Public hearings conducted by the Environmental Control Council panel lasted for six weeks...I am here to announce my notification to the Metropolitan Authority that I have not approved this project...
...The Panel recommends that the Waste-to-Energy Facility proposed by Metropolitan Authority be disallowed due to the lack of economic viability...we do not think that the higher costs of the WTE, in comparison to the landfill option, are warranted or can be justified in light of the environmental or social benefits to be obtained...the WTE option involved heavier up front capital costs than does the landfill option and, for this reason, presents a more rigid and less flexible approach to solid waste management. The Panel have concerns with the ability of the proposed project to be compatible with fast changing technological processes and social conditions. Although a WTE of the size proposed should not divert waste materials that would otherwise become part of the 3 Rs stream, we believe the general psychological effect upon the public of knowing that 40% of the waste stream can be disposed of by burning would be significant and could reduce the effectiveness of any 3Rs program...
...predicted requirements for shutdown and startup for maintenance or servicing requirements will result in air emission excursions beyond regulated limits. It is estimated that this condition could exist for 5% or 18 - 20 days per year. In an urban setting there is considerable concern that these periods of uncontrolled emission discharges may pose a significant threat to the environment and to the health of some individuals living in the vicinity of the facility. There is insufficient information on the characteristics of expected emissions to assess the associated risk...Concern has been expressed that the lack of specific waste characterization information for the metropolitan area could adversely affect the operating characteristics of the proposed combustion units and the nature of the expected air emissions. The lack of specific information in this area is viewed as a critical flaw in the planning process for the proposed WTE facility. Finally, the cost implications for the design, construction and operation of the proposed WTE Facility are shown to be considerably more than other alternatives which provide greater emphasis on waste reduction, recycling reuse and composting initiatives. In consideration of the foregoing, along with the substantial changes in available emission control technology and the changing attitude and innovation of the general public with respect to the 3Rs, it is concluded that approval of the Metropolitan Authority's proposed Waste-to-Energy Facility would not be in the best interests of the environment or the people within the boundaries served by the Metropolitan Authority....the Panel have concluded that the proposed undertaking be disallowed based on the socio-economic burden which would be incurred by the taxpayers of the Metropolitan Area. * * * * * *
*** Regarding the paper used for Waste Not #s 281-295. We used the Kenaf tree-free paper for issues # 283-287, and recycled paper for the rest. We didnt have enough Kenaf paper, and confusion soon set in.
Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.