Pollution

jaybeejustme

Registered User
Mar 15, 2008
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#1
I used to live on beach blvd, and loved every minute of it beachside. There is nothing better in life than hear the rolling waves and wild winds whistling through the towers. I loved it. But sadley enough hamilton is now letting a sludge plant burn thousands of tons of pollution which will have devastating effects to people in the east end and the city. NDP Paul Miller is trying to put a stop to it being built because of cancer causeing chemicals that will be released. There was a small study done on the amounts that will be in our air, he wants and a few of other politians want the full study done. The city is refusing to budge. I hate to see this happen, property values will fall drasticaly, because hamilton already has a bad reputation as a industrial polluter. If anyone on the beach blvd is concerned over this, please call your mayor with a steer comment on this situation. I find that the residents should launch a class action suit against the city of hamilton. The city is failing to protect it's citizens from cancer causeing chemicals being released into the night and day. The beach blvd is beautifull and I am hopeing to reture some day if I win a lottory. but in the meantime the people need to shake things up a little.:canada:
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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#2
Hi JayBee...
For the record, the Beach Community is and always has been against the building of that plant. We are downwind and we will feel the effects from the stacks for about 70% of the time when it is running.
Members of our community did fly down to Baltimore to look at a similar setup owned by the same person, these members were given a car and they drove around asking area residents what they thought of the emissions or if there was any. This was a while ago now and one comment I remember was that there was this red dust everywhere. I will see if I can get someone that went on the trip to comment so that we are getting the info first hand.
Isn't so nice of the Liberal MPP from the mountian to give full support of this project, she said that she would gladly have this built in her riding. That would be her last term, she did say though that the location is a done deal, so there is no chance that it will end up anywhere except for where it planned for.
And isn't it so nice that we get to care of Toronto's sludge problems?
Thank you for your comments.

Photo- Picture taken from inside the Baltimore Sludge Plant.
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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#3
Sludge a done deal

All Spectator articles are posted with permission from the Hamilton Spectator.
________________________________________________

Jean Lea Johnson
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton
(Mar 4, 2008)
Re: 'Sludge as fuel better than sludge as plant food' (Letters, March 1)

It is of interest to me that the letter writer lives in Toronto. Missed the point? I don't think so. To trust that this sludge plant will be environmentally safe for Hamiltonians is beyond me.

My point is the possibility exists that we might be in for more than we bargained for in terms of toxins. If so, I can bet that, as a Hamiltonian, I will not be informed of any health risks that might occur. This venture was a done deal, with no platform in which concerned Hamiltonians could vote for or against.
 

scotto

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#4
Sludge Plant's Appearance Aims for the Sky

Eric McGuinness
The Hamilton Spectator
(Mar 14, 2008)
Architect Philip Smith wants to inject bright colour and striking design into the drab industrial landscape along Burlington Street East.

He plans to give the $160-million Liberty Energy Centre a skin of translucent white and clear plastic panels, creating three angular boxes that will reveal sky-blue machinery inside and glow in the nighttime.

Smith envisions it as "a beacon on the Hamilton skyline that will respect the city's heavy industry while presenting a new, memorable, 21st-century image for the city's future."

That's an ambitious goal for a power plant fuelled by sewage sludge and wood waste, but he sees it as a showcase for a clean-burning, renewable energy project.

"A process like that evokes strong feelings -- they're burning my poop -- but this is a source of energy that will always be there, so let's take advantage of it. I want the building to bring that out."

Smith works in California, where Liberty Energy is based, but says he studied the Hamilton site carefully and considered how the plant would look from street level, from the elevated Industrial Drive and from the Mountain brow.

The big sheds that house much of the heavy industry along the bayfront are cloaked in corrugated steel panels painted rusty red, brown and grey.

Smith plans to stick with corrugated panels, but made of polycarbonate plastic, a mix of translucent white and see-through panels in what he calls a cloud scheme, "as though the building itself were a container for a cloud."

Liberty Energy CEO Wilson Nolan said after meeting with The Spectator editorial board yesterday: "We hold ourselves to a very high standard in execution of our business and want an exceptional-looking building."

The company's environmental screening studies and report were accepted by the Environment Ministry last month. Environment Hamilton and some east Hamilton residents are unhappy the ministry rejected their calls for a more thorough assessment process, but have no further avenue of appeal.

Nolan said he hoped to start building the first of two incinerator units -- he called them reactors -- by this time next year and to start feeding power into the Ontario grid by September 2010, but also said he wouldn't start construction until he has a long-term commitment from one or more municipalities to dispose of their sludge.

Each incinerator is designed to handle sludge produced by a population of two million, about four times the number in Hamilton.

emcguinness@thespec.com

905-526-4650
 

scotto

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#5
Critics fume over sludge

March 05, 2008
Eric McGuinness
The Hamilton Spectator
(Mar 5, 2008)
Critics of a proposed east Hamilton power plant fuelled by sewage sludge and wood waste say they're not satisfied with the province's reasons for denying their requests for a more thorough environmental assessment.

They still want a study that would look at other ways to get rid of sludge and other places to do it.

But Liberty Energy CEO Wilson Nolan insists that "any further assessment would not result in any further protection to the environment or public health."

The Spectator reported Feb. 23 that the Environment Ministry had rejected requests from Environment Hamilton and the City of Hamilton to require Liberty Energy to go through what's known as a full, individual assessment rather than the screening studies it's done. Now both organizations have received four-page ministry letters replying to their concerns.

In them, the province says it considers burning sludge to produce power a form of renewable energy and a "suitable long-term solution for biomass management."

Alicia Garcia-Wright, acting director of the environmental assessment and approvals branch, says she is satisfied Liberty adequately studied potential air pollution, traffic, dust, odour and other impacts and has plans to comply with the Environmental Protection Act.

She concludes no further assessment is needed.

Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla, who convinced colleagues to support the call for a full assessment, said yesterday the ministry arguments "fly in the fact of logic." He called the proposed Liberty Energy Centre on Strathearne Avenue "another SWARU in the making," referring to the old, dirty, city garbage incinerator closed in 2002.

Merulla, who also opposes the city's proposal to build its own sludge incinerator on Woodward Avenue, said both plans "fly in the face of everything we are trying to do to change the image of Hamilton."

Lynda Lukasik, executive director of Environment Hamilton, called the ministry reasoning "kind of bizarre," questioning approval for technology yet to be proven viable at such a large scale anywhere in North America.

Nolan calls their objections "nothing more than obstructionism to block the project."

emcguinness@thespec.com

905-526-4650
 

varsr

Registered User
Aug 18, 2007
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#6
I am new to Hamilton Beach - where is this plant being built and what is the time frame? Is there anyone activiely opposing it or is it too late for that?
Look forward to becoming part of the community.
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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#7
Our elected Provincal Government have given this plant the go ahead, so I don't see much stopping it now.
Again, I will see if I can get someone more in the know to comment on the particulars.
The plant is to be built on Strathearne Avenue which would impact the south end of the Beach.
 

scotto

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#8
Comments from Brenda Johnson EH

I would call Brenda from Environment Hamilton an expert on this subject and she has sent in the following, this should answer the questions posted here.

Thanks to Brenda.
___________________________________________________

Liberty Energy is a California based company that wants to take sewage sludge and landscaping materials and burn it to such a high degree that energy (hydro) will be produced. The proposal calls for two operating trains (conveyer belts feeding two furnaces) and they are expecting to receive sludge from a 60 mile radius. The municipalities that could be feeding this facility can potentially come from London, Toronto, Buffalo just to name a few. Hamilton can expect 28,700 more trucks with their added emissions and not to mention the road damages that will occur.

Jim Howlett, Lydia Cartlidge and Brenda Johnson (EH staff) visited a similar facility located in Minnesota in 2005. This Minnesota facility is operated by the municipality and is much smaller than the proposed facility that will be built in Hamilton. This facility was located on the same site as the sewage treatment plant and they did not accept waste from any other municipalities. The only truck traffic needed was to take away the ashes that result from the gasification process. (1-3 trucks daily) This facility only burns sludge and does not burn landscaping material. While touring the facility there was a red dust that covered everything inside the plant. That red dust had a very strong odour. The tour guide told to us later that the facility had an earlier problem that resulted in red dust escaping. During this visit Jim, Lydia and Brenda had the opportunity to visit surrounding neighbourhoods and there were some complaints about the odour coming from this site.

Environment Hamilton analyzed the figures and charts that Liberty Energy submitted during their environment screening process and found that this facility could potentially cause more harmful emissions than that of the Stelco sinter plant. Another concern that Environment Hamilton raised in the letter to the MOE was that the City of Hamilton is in the process of researching the possibility of operating their own sludge burning facility that will also produce hydro. "If there might be a sludge burning facility being operated by the City of Hamilton, then why do we need Liberty Energy's facility located in Hamilton too? Should Hamilton facility's be burning other municipality's sludge"?

Environment Hamilton (EH) along with residents, Provincial Representatives Andrea Horwath and Paul Miller as well as the City of Hamilton tried to get the MOE to demand a full environmental assessment of this facility. MOE denied those requests and the road now stops for public input.


Brenda Johnson
Project Manager
Environment Hamilton
1130 Barton Street East
Suite 207
Hamilton, Ontario
L8H 7P9
905-549-0900
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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#9
Why no outcry?

Peter Ormond
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton
(Mar 22, 2008)
Re: 'Sludge plant's appearance aims for the sky' (Mar. 14) and 'Under a cloud' (Mar. 15)

I recently returned refreshed from environmental conferences in Ottawa, then Vancouver. Those cities are really moving and shaking as part of a global green revolution that's steadily ramping up.

Then I picked up The Hamilton Spectator and read the front page feature about the architectural marvels of a wood-burning sludge incinerator. The lineup of tens of thousands of spewing trucks bringing in wet sludge from other destinations was not included in the pictorial layout.

The next day's paper featured Dofasco's particulate emission issues. My simple point is this -- in what other community within Canada, or even North America, do you think these scenarios would be tolerated without a public uproar? Please, let's stop selling ourselves short.
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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#10
Editorial
Apr 18, 2008
Stoney Creek News.
Large Medium Small Print This Article Tell a friend Brian McHattie may want to look up the word 'disingenuous' in the dictionary.

The Westdale councillor has made a name for himself jumping on environmental bandwagons and is typically a strong and competent voice. But when it comes to Liberty Energy's massive sewage sludge incinerator, approved by the province without a full environmental assessment, McHattie and other members of council really missed the boat.

Last week, Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla moved a 'too-little, too-late' motion to ask the province to reject a key operating certificate for Liberty Energy's gasification facility scheduled to burn 400,000 tonnes of sludge each year. He was supported by councillors McHattie, Brad Clark, Margaret McCarthy and Bernie Morelli. However, the motion failed and Liberty Energy will continue to forge ahead with plans to build the waste incinerator on Strathearne with blessings from the Dalton McGuinty government.

But it didn't have to be this way if people like McHattie hadn't been asleep at the switch when the proposal first reared its ugly head in the form of a rezoning application approved by a narrow margin.

On June 21, 2005, McHattie, along with councillors Merulla and Terry Whitehead asked that a rezoning request for 675 Strathearne be sent back to staff for more information.

There was no question at the time what Liberty Energy was proposing. This was council's one opportunity to crush the proposal and send Liberty looking elsewhere.

However, councillors on the Economic Development and Planning committee blinked and Hamilton's residents are now left blind-sided.

Tim McCabe, general manager of economic development and planning, rightly informed councillors last week that it was too late to stop the huge incinerator and the real opportunity to stop the proposal went back to the meeting on June 21, 2005.

While Merulla and McHattie were suspicious and guarded when the applicant asked for rezoning, what is clear is they knew the plant would generate energy from waste. And they knew, along with their colleagues, that zoning applications are the ultimate trump card for municipal governments.

The passion to stop this project was needed then, not now. 'Then' was about doing the right thing. 'Now' is all about political optics.

This new plant turns Hamilton into Ontario's crapping ground, thanks to the Liberal government's decision to hold thermal incineration projects to a lesser approval standard and forego a full environmental assessment.

Let's be clear: the California-based firm's $120-million plant on Strathearne Avenue is not meeting a local need. Its "gasification" process will burn up to eight times the amount of sludge generated by Hamiltonians. Liberty will import waste from outside the city.

It will do this business in an area already among this country's poorest and most environmentally degraded, one already besieged by heavy truck traffic and lung-wheezing industry.

The majority of council seemingly supports the Liberty Energy proposal, boasting economic and "environmental" benefits and the obligation of council to be consistent on rezoning applications.

While council has maintained that the project be subjected to a full environmental assessment, they should have learned from lthe past not to trust the province and to wield zoning bylaws like 'sludgehammers.'

We are reminded of the Plastimet fire, made possible by non-regulation; the toxin-spewing Rennie Street dump, which only saw remedial action after private charges brought a record fine against the city; the dioxin-spewing SWARU incinerator that operated with impunity for decades; the Biedermann pesticide fiasco that nearly killed Spencer Creek and Cootes Paradise and last but not least, Stoney Creek's Taro dump, approved without public hearings.

Dalton McGuinty is willing to use this city's poorest residents for his questionable experiment with incineration as a way to deal with Ontario's waste problem. And every member of council, regardless of how they position themselves today, shares in that responsibility.
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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#11
Have your say on Liberty sludge plan

Eric McGuinness
The Hamilton Spectator
(Aug 22, 2008)
The Ministry of the Environment is giving the public a chance to comment on draft certificates of approval for Liberty Energy's proposed 10-megawatt east Hamilton power plant fuelled by sewage sludge and wood waste.

The documents dealing with air emissions, sewage works and waste management constitute, in effect, a licence to build the $60-million waste-to-energy plant at the north end of Strathearne Avenue.

While the ministry will accept comments for 30 days, there is no right of appeal. That means Liberty will soon be able to sign contracts with municipalities for sludge disposal and, if successful, start construction of the plant proposed almost four years ago.

Former MPP Trevor Pettit, now working for the private California-based company, said yesterday: "It's a big day. We're pretty pleased. It's been a long haul. We have to wait 30 days, but we should then have legitimate certificates of approval."

He said Liberty hopes to seek tenders within a few months. Construction of the first phase would take about 18 months.

Liberty conducted an environmental screening (actually two screenings because rules changed partway through the process) but the ministry refused a dozen requests, one from the City of Hamilton, for a full-scale assessment.

The drafts can be seen at www.ebr.gov.on.ca. Registry number 010-4084.

emcguinness@thespec.com

905-526-4650
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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#12
Sludge incinerator may never be built

View Magazine


by Don McLean
March 18 - 24, 2010
It won environmental approval more than two years ago, and has been pursued since 2004, but the proposed Liberty Energy sludge incinerator hasn’t started construction and may never happen. The sticking point appears to be the city’s plans to burn our own fecal material rather than pay a private operator to do it. In February 2008, Liberty convinced the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to approve its proposal to incinerate 340,000 tonnes a year of sewage sludge using a gasification process at its 675 Strathearne Avenue property. For the company, it was an apparently successful end to a nearly three–year battle that saw environmental groups, scientists and even city council challenge the re–introduction of incineration to a city that had shut down its SWARU incinerator in 2002. The environmental assessment okay, and the subsequent issuance of an operating certificate by the ministry in September 2008, appeared to clear the way for the California–based company to proceed with its $120 million facility that also promised to produce 10 megawatts of electricity. But the only physical evidence of this today is a “future home of Liberty Energy” sign attached to a decrepit building on the former USARCO site on Strathearne. Liberty’s plans depend on several cities agreeing to pay the company to haul their sludge to Hamilton – about 28,000 truckloads a year. Toronto has said no while Hamilton’s water and wastewater staff are proposing to build a much smaller city–owned incinerator for our annual sludge accumulation of 53,000 tonnes. Liberty is pushing hard to derail that plan which completed the public portion of its environmental assessment process last summer and now awaits a ministry decision. The latest move came at the public works committee this month when Dundas councillor Russ Powers pressed wastewater director Jim Harnum on the timeline for a report comparing the costs of the city paying Liberty or financing its own incinerator. At the end of the meeting where councillors can ask questions not related to the agenda, Powers asked for “an update on Liberty Energy, the peer review and the ongoing saga”. Harnum’s response shed some light on the situation. “We have, as directed by committee and council, fast–tracked the review with Liberty,” he explained. “We’ve had a consultant that both ourselves and Liberty have agreed on [who’ve] come into to Hamilton and did about a four day workshop with the various members – both ourselves, our consultants on the biosolids master plan, and several staff, and representatives from Liberty. We have a good understanding of their business plan now, and we’re working on comparing that, and ‘levelizing’ it – we call – so that we can compare the city’s plan to the actual Liberty plan.” Harnum promised a full report to the committee at either its March 22 meeting or in early April, but noted that it is a “very complicated business plan and [a] very complicated issue to try and hammer out.” Powers’ question may have been spurred by the presence of Liberty president Wilson Nolan in the meeting and former MPP Trevor Pettit, one of several people the company has hired over the years to lobby for its project, including former MOE staff. Pettit was the representative for Hamilton Mountain for one term in the Mike Harris government. The city sludge incinerator was proposed in 2007 while the Liberty project was still tied up in the environmental assessment process. But last fall’s staff recommendation to move to “detailed design and implementation” was replaced by ordering staff to present “comparisons with other proponents which may have an interest in this issue” – an obvious reference to Liberty. V [DON MCLEAN]
 
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