A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton,
NY 13617 315-379-9200 MARCH 29, 1990
MINNESOTA: "THE LAND OF 10,000 LAKES"
MINNEAPOLIS' 1,000 TPD MASS-BURN INCINERATOR
DECEMBER 1989: MINNEAPOLIS INCINERATOR VIOLATES ITS PERMIT
FOR MERCURY EMISSIONS. TESTS SUGGEST THAT 6 POUNDS A DAY, OR
MORE, OF MERCURY WAS EMIITED FROM INCINERATOR STACK.
"From December ll through 19, 1989, an independent stack
emissions testing company conducted stack emissions compliance
tests of the Hennepin Energy Resource Company incinerator. The
MPCA (Minneapolis Pollution Control Authority) permit limit is
.002 pounds of mercury per ton of municipal waste (lb/ton of MSW).
The tested rate was .0024 lb/ton of MSW and did not comply
with applicable permit emission limit for mercury." MPCA
Notice of Violation, 2-9-90. According to the Star Tribune
of 2-6-90: "The MPCA will require the incinerator's operator,
Blount Inc., to test emissions more frequently for mercury.
The MPCA permit required Blount to test every l5 months;
that must be increased to tests every sixth day for six weeks,
starting in early March. After that, tests will be every three
months until the permit expires in January l992. The MPCA is
asking the plant's sponsor, Hennepin County, to ensure that its
program to keep mercury batteries out of garbage is rapidly and
effectively implemented...[The MPCA] issued a statement yesterday
that said the plant's mercury emissions in December 'posed no
human health risk through inhalation.' The MPCA added, however,
that 'if mercury were released at that rate over a long period
of time, it could accumulate in the environment, especially in
the flesh of fish...(MPCA) permit limits mercury emissions from
the $108 million plant to no more than 2 pounds a day, based on
annual average. The December tests suggested that emissions
at that time were 6 pounds a day, perhaps more..."
OCTOBER 1989: ASH DISPOSAL AGREEMENT WITH WASTE MANAGEMENT
INC. LANDFILL IN ILLINOIS ALLOWS MINNEAPOLIS INCINERATOR TO START UP.
After a two month search "the Hennepin County
Board on Thursday [10-12-89] finally found a place for it's incinerator
ash...The Illinois landfill is located outside Joliet and
is owned by Waste Management Inc....When transportation
costs are added in, the cost per ton will be $56 a ton this
year and $60 a ton in January." St. Paul Pioneer
Press Dispatch, 10-13-89.
JANUARY 1990: ASH DISPOSAL AGREEMENT WITH WASTE MANAGEMENT
INC. LANDFILL IN ILLINOIS IS ILLEGAL. ILLINOIS LAW ALLOWS ONLY
"HOUSEHOLD WASTE" INCINERATOR ASH TO BE LANDFILLED.
MINNEAPOLIS INCINERATOR ACCEPTS INDUSTRIAL & COMMERCIAL WASTE,
ASIDE FROM HOUSEHOLD WASTE. According to an Earth
Protector press release of 1-18-90: "The ash dump in
Joliet, Illinois, is only allowed to accept ash 'from municipal
incineration facilities which burn household waste only.' The
Minneapolis garbage burner accepts and burns waste from commercial
and light industrial facilities. Household waste is defined in
the Illinois law as 'any waste material derived from households..."
Will County, IL, said WMI landfill was violating its permit
by accepting ash produced from nonresidential garbage. This
forced the Minneapolis incinerator to operate at 60% capacity
and landfill the remaining 40%, considered commercial & light
industrial waste, for over a month until the WMI landfill
received a modification to its permit to accept commercial waste.
MARCH 1990: ASH DISPOSAL IN SAWYER, NORTH DAKOTA, NEGOTIATED
BY GEORGIA-BASED MUNICIPAL SERVICES CORP. "After
shipping ash to Illinois for the past five months, the county
now plans to send most of it to North Dakota. The Illinois ash
pit ran into problems with regulators and neighbors. But in Sawyer,
N.D., the roughly 400 residents can't wait to get the residue
of Hennepin County's garbage. 'This represents good community
development,' Sawyer Mayor Dennis Redding told the Hennepin County
Board Tuesday. He said there was no opposition at a recent
public hearing in his town. Getting rid of ash from the downtown
Minneapolis incinerator has been a major headache for the county...Municipal
Services Corp. of Marietta, GA, proposed the Sawyer site.
President Hugh Shannonhouse said Municipal Services hopes
to have a converted industrial waste plant ready by June l. It
will cost the county about $64 per ton to use the Sawyer
ash pit, including transportation, a cost roughly the same as
in Illinois...In Sawyer, ash is welcomed as a way to fill in the
gouges left by strip mining of coal that ended more than 40 years
ago and to plump up wallets deflated by three years of drought.
The ash pit will employ an estimated 18 people and finance a
trust fund for local improvements. 'That makes us feel great,'
Redding said. 'We can't lose." Star Tribune, 3-14-90.
The plan is to rail the ash from Minnesota to Sawyer, North
OCTOBER 1988 TO AUGUST 1989: BACKGROUND AMBIENT
AIR LEVELS OF DIOXINS, FURANS & HEAVY METALS WERE SAMPLED
BEFORE MINNEAPOLIS INCINERATOR WENT ON LINE. PRELIMINARY REVIEWS
SHOW THAT DIOXINS & FURANS ARE PRESENT IN MINNEAPOLIS AT LEVELS
"WHICH MAY BE OF ENVIORNMENTAL SIGNIFICANCE."
"In September 1988, the MPCA board approved the sampling
and analytical plan for background dioxin monitoring near the
HERC [Minneapolis] incinerator. The study was carried
out from October 1988, to August 1989. Staff received final reports
from HERC beginning in September 1989. The last report, containing
results of lead and dioxin monitoring studies conducted by Radian
Corp. under contract with Hennepin County...Background ambient
air levels of dioxin/dibenzofurans as well as numerous other pollutants,
were measured by Radian Corp. between August 1988 and May
1989. The measurements were made during three, one week sampling
periods carried out during the summer, fall and spring. Sampling
was conducted at a site approximately two miles northeast of the
Minneapolis business district. In all, 18 air samples were collected,
twelve of which were analyzed, with the others archived. Sampling
of all media other than air was carried out by Wenck Associates
under contract with HERC [Hennepin Energy Resource Corp]. In
this study dioxins/dibenzofurans were measured in numerous media,
including soil, vegetables, earthworms, terrestrial herbivores,
mammals, aquatic (lake) sediments, storm drain sediments and fish.
A total of 94 environmental samples were analyzed. All environmental
samples (including air) were analyzed for levels of total dioxins
and dibenzofurans as well as levels of specific dioxin/furan isomers
considered to be most toxic...In summary, it is apparent from
preliminary reviews that dioxins and dibenzofurans are present
in the environment in Minneapolis and at levels which may be environmental
significance." 12-12-89 Office Memorandum from J.M.
Valentine, Director of MPCA Division of Air Quality, re: "Status
report on staff's review of results from background environmental
monitoring near HERC." The full study is now available from:
J.M. Valentine, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road, Saint Paul, MN 55155.
DECEMBER 1989: INCINERATOR WATER -VAPOR-CLOUDS HAMPER VISIBILITY
AND CAUSE S ICING IN DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS. According
to Leslie Davis the incinerator's cooling towers were not built
high enough, the meteorology not properly studied, coupled with
frigid December temperatures, were the causes of the icing and
limited visibility on roads, main highway and communities in downtown
Minneapolis. The incinerator water-vapor clouds, blotted out
the much-prized Twin City Skyline, elicited much media commentary
and resident complaints. "...The Hennepin County Board voted
to require Blount Inc., the plant's operator, to fix the
problem before the county accepts the garbage-burning plant...Commissioners
also asked the county's attorney's office to begin looking at
who should pay for corrective action...cost could be as much as
$500,000." Star Tribune, 12-20-89.
EARTH PROTECTOR MAGAZINE is a new publication
that focuses on politics, pollution and money. Publisher is
Leslie Davis, of the Minneapolis-based Earth Protector
group. Doug Grow, a columnist for the Star Tribune wrote
about Davis on l-30-90: "Of course, no one every claimed
that the burner in downtown Minneapolis would solve Hennepin County's
garbage problems. But officials didn't spend $108 million so
they could go home with political headaches. And certainly, they
didn't spend $108 million to make Earth Protector's Leslie
Davis look good...Davis, an attorney for Earth Protectors
and a longtime opponent of the burner, has been a constant annoyance
to state and county officials who have been trying to figure out
where to pile garbage. He has strenuously opposed expansion of
landfills and he has vigorously opposed the burner...When he's
not been filing suits opposing the burner or calling various officials
liars, he's been walking around such places as Saks wearing a
gas mask, a fashion statement that's to remind shoppers they're
only a few blocks from the burner...He predicts that the county
will end up suing the builder, that the builder will sue the county
and that bondholders will be suing banks, the county and the builder.
Before suits start flying, he says, the burner should be converted
to a material recycling center, which is what he says it should
have been all along..." Subscriptions to what has to be
information-packed & lively, Earth Protector Magazine
is $l5 for a one year subscription (6 times a year). Address:
1138 Plymouth Building, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Tel: 612-375-0202.
For $50 you can get the magazine, a great Earth Protector
T-Shirt, and an Earth Protector patch.
For more information on the Minneapolis incinerator
contact: Leslie Davis, address/phone # above; Frank Hornstein
of Clean Water Action Project, 612-623-3666; or Rachel Lord of
Citizen's Coalition to Stop the Incinerator at 612-379-8868.
WASTE NOT # 96. A publication of Work on Waste USA,
published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups &
Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35;
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Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton,
New York 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.