Citizens of Gadsden County should be thankful for the efforts of the Concerned Citizens of Gadsden County to raise awareness about the proposed ADAGE biomass facility in Gretna. I attended the county commission meeting and the meeting in Gretna where citizens indicated their concerns about he health and sewer capacity issues of such a plant. Just as troubling was the manner in which the elected leaders proceeded to give either active or tacit approval and, apparently, promised tax abatements, for an enterprise about which there are still many questions.
Apparently, county commissioners met individually with ADAGE, in order to escape the Sunshine Law yet, except for Commission-er Holt, profess that the commission had no jurisdiction on a Gretna municipality issue
Neither the city of Gretna nor the county commission questioned whether the issue was enough of a health problem to call for a public hearing. Concerned Citizens members had to pool their own funds and give their time to bring this issue to the voters.
Any hazardous particulates which the plant may produce will not stop at the Gretna city limits. I would think that the citizens of Quincy and even Chattahoochee could be affected. But until we get a hearing with impartial experts and until ADAGE representatives (who were invited but did not attend the public meeting in Gretna) are asked to respond to the specific concerns of citizens, we will not know.
The city of Quincy recently announced that it was considering incineration of green waste. What procedures will be followed to give the public input on this issue? Will non-Quincy residents living close to the landfill find themselves without representation or information on this issue?
In the absence of a government-sponsored forum, I would suggest that residents attend the meetings of the Concerned Citizens, the dates for which are listed at http://biomess.net, or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I appreciate Jan Rogers' call for accurate information on biomass in the Havana Herald Feb. 11 edition and ask him to provide the same. He reported 250 tons per year (tpy) of pollution from the proposed Gretna plant is grossly understated. The true number is 1,594 tpy.
To date, neither ADAGE nor plant proponents have called a single public meeting to present all available information and allow residents to ask questions. This is shameful – this issue should be a community decision.
On the DEP-approved permit for the ADAGE-proclaimed "sister plant" of the same size and design, to be built first in Hamilton County, ADAGE lists its pollution emissions: 247 Tons Per Year – Particulate Matter PLUS 239 Tons Per Year – Particulate Matter 10 PLUS 233 Tons Per Year – Particulate Matter 2.5 PLUS 249 Tons Per Year – NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) PLUS 246 Tons Per Year – SO2 (Sulfur Dioxide) PLUS 248 Tons Per Year – CO (Carbon Monoxide) PLUS 40 Tons Per Year – H2SO4 – (Sulfuric Acid Mist) PLUS 63 Tons Per Year – VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) PLUS 29 Tons Per Year – F (Fluorides). Go to the DEP website and read the ADAGE permit, it is right there. TOTAL = 1,594 TONS!
Note that many pollutants are just under 250 tpy - at that level, this would be classified as "major pollution" and become much more expensive for ADAGE to build and operate.
There are 75,000 physicians in the U.S. who now publicly oppose biomass incinerators as an unacceptable public health risk. Yet this plant is proposed to be built next to Gretna Elementary School, the prison and neighborhood – this is shameful!
Biomass equals shortened lives, or lost lives for children, the elderly, those with existing asthma or heart trouble. Like my son.
Gadsden County's greatest assets include open space, decent air, clean water, quiet, quality of life. Please don't support selling these to ADAGE for their profit. Gadsden County will lose.