Ash, landfill expansion and lack of dialogueare local issues for project
MONTEVIDEO -- Officials with Home Farms Technologies tout their waste-to-energy project for its environmental benefits. They are now seeking to learn if local environmental groups and state regulators agree. Plans to place the ash resulting from ...
MONTEVIDEO -- Officials with Home Farms Technologies tout their waste-to-energy project for its environmental benefits.
They are now seeking to learn if local environmental groups and state regulators agree.
Plans to place the ash resulting from the waste-to-energy process in the Renville County landfill is a point of concern locally, according to Patrick Moore, director of Clean Up our River Environment. He told company officials during an informal meeting Friday in Montevideo that most share the company's goals of reducing landfill wastes and producing a clean-burning fuel.
But he pointed out two main points of contention raised by the landfill issue: The county is seeking to acquire farmland through eminent domain, and it wants to expand the landfill along Beaver Creek.
The taking of farmland and expanding a landfill that is "in the wrong place'' trouble many, he said.
He warned that the two issues could "ignite'' both the agricultural and environmental communities against the project.
Moore said CURE has sought an opportunity for dialogue with Renville County over the issue but has been rebuffed. He urged that a process begin to develop dialogue and consensus, rather than an adversarial situation.
He also told company officials that many statewide environmental groups will object to the use of municipal solid waste for fuel. They will be concerned that using municipal solid waste as fuel will hinder efforts both to recycle a greater share of our wastes, and to produce less of it.
On a national level, the use of gasification technology is also under scrutiny as "incineration in disguise,'' noted Roy Hankins, a participant at the meeting.
Kenneth Birch, president of Home Farms Technologies, said the company has submitted 1,700 pages of materials to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as part of the permitting process for the project.
Current regulations require that an environmental impact statement be completed due to the volume of wastes to be converted to energy. Company officials are hoping to avoid the need for the costly and time-consuming study, based on the emissions data already produced at a research facility in California.