Gassy Trash Talk To Continue

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The Ohio EPA has extended the public comment period on a preliminary permit issued to Cleveland Public Power to build a trash gasification plant at the city’s Ridge Road garbage transfer station. The comment period was to end Monday, but will be extended to February 23.

Last week Mayor Frank Jackson’s office requested the 30 day extension. Prior to that, environmental groups and residents had asked for an extension of 90 days to ask additional questions of the agency.

Meanwhile, controversy surrounding the facility, which would gasify city trash into a syngas that would then fire boilers to produce about 7 percent of the electricity CPP now buys every year.

Last night about 100 residents attended the first of several community meetings CPP is holding during the next few weeks to discuss the trash gassing plans. Most, including Congressman Dennis! Kucinich oppose the plan because it will increase air pollutants, may increase truck traffic in the neighborhood, and because the costs are as yet, unknown.

In fact, Cleveland officials still seem to have no idea how they would pay for the trash plant, “There are many options, both private financing and public financing,” CPP Commissioner told the crowd. “But I can guarantee that if it doesn’t make sense [financially] then it’s a no-go.”

However, if the Ohio EPA gives a final approval to the air permit related to the facility, the city will pay Peter Tien ofas Scene previously explained Princeton Environmental $600,000 for his work toward securing the EPA permit.

Last night, Henderson said the city also plans to ask city council for money to hire a consultant to help determine how to proceed with the trash plant.

Meanwhile, the EPA plans to make a final ruling on the air permit by early spring. EPA spokesman Mike Settles says the agency has already received a large number of comments and questions.

Written comments can be sent to: Cleveland Division of Air Quality, Attn: David Hearne, 75 Erieview Plaza, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH, 44114.

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